Renewed passion, thanks to a second lease of life

Chantal Penning, 35, found herself in a life-and-death situation following the delivery of her firstborn. 

Just five days after giving birth on 23 May 2019, the new mother started to bleed profusely. The doctor diagnosed her as having an infection and Chantal was sent home with a course of antibiotics. 

The next day, her bleeding worsened and she was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. That very day, Chantal was transfused with 12 bags of blood. Eventually, her blood clotted and her bleeding stopped.  

Needless to say, the experience has changed her life. Realising how close her son was to having to grow up without a mother, Chantal’s perspectives altered forever. She’s grown patient and relishes every growth milestone. She also has a heart full of gratitude.

“I’m so grateful to the blood donors who saved my life. Because of your gift of blood, I can continue to be a mum for my son and watch him grow up,” said Chantal. 

Chantal was a blood donor in the Netherlands and Australia, so she was naturally excited about donating blood in Singapore. She will have to wait though - as she can only give blood one year after her last transfusion. But that did not stop Chantal from giving back. 

On her son’s first birthday, she held a mini blood drive and encouraged her friends to donate blood. Her goal was to rally 12 donors - one person to represent each bag of blood she’d received during her hospital stay. And she recruited two more than her goal - 14 people! 

Having lived through and survived the harrowing experience, Chantal has strengthened her conviction about the importance of blood donation, and the resolve to be a passionate advocate for blood donation. She frequently discusses blood donation with her family, friends and colleagues, and gently nudges people who have not given blood, to donate for the first time. 

Now pregnant with her second child, Chantal hopes to donate blood as soon as she can, to help patients in-need.

By Abigail Tan, Volunteer

The writer of this story, Abigail Tan, is a fifth-time blood donor. She says, “To all blood donors, thank you for saving lives. Even more so to those who have been donating during such a challenging period that we find ourselves in right now.”

Inspired to give blood? Find out more or make an appointment to give.