Nottingham woman needs blood to treat 'stabbing pain' from sickle cell disease but stocks are low

Oyesola Oni told ITV News Central the disease "feels like someone is stabbing you"

Oyesola Oni, from West Bridgeford in Nottinghamshire, needs blood transfusions to keep her alive - one every five weeks.

She has sickle cell disease, an inherited condition, which requires regular blood exchanges to manage.

The disease "feels like someone is stabbing you, crushing your bones, stepping on you, driving a car over you. It's really excruciating."

"So every five weeks I get hooked up to a machine that takes out my own blood and gives me a fresh 'tonne' of blood."

"One week after a transfusion you are... like a battery that is draining."

But in the Midlands stocks are running low, and now people are being urged to become blood donors, as the NHS' Blood and Transplant service suggests that more than 11,000 new volunteers are needed to save lives.

"If you're constantly going in and out of hospital, it's not always the greatest," Charlene Scott said.

Charlene Scott has Sickle Cell disease

Ms Scott, who's from Solihull in Birmingham, needs transfusions every month.

She told ITV News Central: "It does kind of implode on your mental state sometimes. But however, it's part of life, and that's what you get on with.

"Yes I've got the condition - but guess what, I get on with it. That's the main thing for me"

Birmingham has the second largest number of people suffering from the disease in the UK, outside of London.

It causes severe pain and can impair organ function.

There's an urgent demand for donors from Black African and Black Caribbean backgrounds, as sickle cell disease affects more people from these backgrounds than other ethnic groups.

One centre manager in Birmingham, said that there's "an increasing demand for a special blood group called RO, and it's used to treat people with sickle cell."

"This is more likely to be found in people with Black African or Black Caribbean backgrounds so we're asking people from those heritages to come forward and give blood."

How can I become a blood donor?

You can sign up to be a blood donor at

People with certain illnesses - or who have participated in certain sexual activities - can sometimes be unable to donate blood.

Men can donate up to once every twelve weeks, and women once up to every sixteen weeks.

It's a voluntary process - blood donors are not paid.

What happens at a blood donation?

Donors undergo a brief, private health screening to check if they are eligible to give blood.

A donation then takes between five and ten minutes, with people encouraged to sit for a few minutes after their donation and have a drink and a snack.

How could my blood help someone?

Donated blood can be used to help treat people with sickle cell disease, certain cancers, anaemia and to help people with blood disorders.

It can also be used in emergencies, for example, people involved in a traumatic incident might be given a blood transfusion.