Maddington Education Support Centre teacher Sarah Priestley will be front and centre for the Perth Blood Institute’s world record human blood drop attempt on the South Perth foreshore on Australia Day next year.
Ms Priestly was diagnosed with a protein C deficiency that doctors believed caused deep vein thrombosis following a sporting injury when she was 17.
Since then she has been doing all she can to raise awareness of blood disorders.
DVT is caused by the slowed movement of blood, which causes blood clots in veins not on the surface of the skin.
If a clot breaks away and moves to the lung it can cause serious illness and even death.
Ms Priestly said because she was so young at the time many doctors couldn’t believe she had DVT.
“I was playing state league softball and was sneaking from first to second,” she said.
“The catcher threw it from the home plate to second and the shortstop was diving toward me, she got me on the inside of my knee, dislocating it.
“I ended up with a big brace in hospital, I tore my ACL, bone compression, tore my meniscus and ended up with DVT, which I didn’t find out about until about three weeks later.
“No one believed me, which is the main reason I’m getting involved in this because even doctors couldn’t believe that a 17-year-old girl could have DVT.
“It’s changed my life forever, if I fly I need to take medication, I need compression stockings after surgery.”
Ms Priestly said her ordeal made her more aware of how severe blood disorders could be and how they can occur in anyone.
“I want to help people understand the severity of it and just have that blood test that could say whether or not they could be at risk of having DVT,” she said.
Maddington Primary School and Ed Support Centre students helped promote the world record blood drop event last Thursday calling on people to fill the gap at the attempt on Australia day.
Perth Blood Institute spokeswoman Adriana Filippou said often people with blood disorders are disadvantaged by environmental barriers and societal attitudes than by the condition itself.
“Australia Day 2017 is an opportunity to break down these barriers and challenge people’s perceptions of unity,” she said.
Perth Blood Institute along with Rotary Club Mill Point are organising the attempt and are hoping to get thousands of people to participate.
If successful the event will go into the Guinness World Book of Records as the biggest human blood drop.
Price is $10 per person or $30 for a family of four.
Payment includes a hat and certificate and proceeds will go to Perth Blood Institute research.
For more information about time and location or to register visit greataussiebloodgroup.org.au.