When Clare Hindle went into labour 16 weeks early, doctors gave her a pamphlet about all the complications to expect in such a premature baby, from developmental delay to chronic lung disease.
Keelan was born at King Edward Memorial Hospital a fortnight later, at 26 weeks, and one of the first scares was his body was not producing enough red blood cells.
But after Keelan had four blood transfusions over 16 weeks, Ms Hindle and partner Tony Mullins were able to take him home, grateful for a donor blood service that kept their son alive.
"We were overwhelmed when they said he needed a blood transfusion, but we knew he had to have it," Ms Hindle said.
Australia still needs more than 13,000 blood donations between Christmas and New Year.
Regular donors are among the many taking holidays, leading to a worrying fall in donor numbers.
Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokeswoman Kathy Bowlen said it was launching its national Christmas and New Year blood drive to help fill the more than 13,000 appointments needed between December 23 and January 3.
To make an appointment, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.