A nationwide search is underway to find a rare blood type so an Adelaide woman can have emergency open-heart surgery.
Amira Soliman, 37, has a leaking valve in her heart and doctors have a small window of time to replace it, her husband, Ahmed Elhayes, said.
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Elhayes said surgeons require a minimum 20 litres of blood to perform the operation, but his wife has developed antibodies which mean she has a blood type so rare just one in 10,000 people may be a match.
“She’s in continuous need of oxygen because she has a shortness of breath … I don’t think she can breathe on her own,” he said.
“It’s very hard. It’s an unexpected situation, but we have to just stand up, keep beside her, supporting her.”
Ahmed Elhayes has been supporting his wife Amira Soliman in hospital. Credit: Supplied
The mother of two was generally healthy, Elhayes said, but one day began feeling pain in her neck and back and shoulders.
She’s been in hospital since early July with her husband and sons, aged 10 and 13, by her side, waiting for her operation.
Her family and LifeBlood are making a public plea to encourage eligible Australians with O or A blood types to donate blood.
“I just want to thank everyone and their contribution is highly appreciated from us as a family” Elhayes said.
“I need everyone to be with Amira … she really needs the support now.“
Lifeblood medical director Dr James Daly said all donated blood would be tested to identify suitable donations.
“Most people will be either O or A blood type, but Amira has a rare combination of other blood types that need to be matched, which means any donor with O or A blood type might prove to be a perfect match,” he said.
“We have identified a few suitable donors, but this mum will require a large number of units to see her through her surgery and finding as many donors as we can with the right blood type will ensure we can meet her transfusion needs both now and in the future.”
Amira Soliman’s family are making a public plea for blood donations. Credit: Supplied
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