A woman whose life was saved thanks to 16 units of blood has urged men from south east London to become donors after rupturing her uterus.

Kirsty Armstrong, 39, from Beckenham, said she "never felt pain like it" after going into hypovolemic shock during the birth of her third child where she suffered a massive bleed.

"It was the most excruciating thing I have ever experienced," she said.

Baby Michael was safely delivered but Kirsty was rushed into emergency surgery for blood transfusions.

She recalled: "It was a harrowing experience and I am so grateful to be alive.

"I am incredibly grateful to all blood donors for their generosity, without which I wouldn’t be here.

"It is a shame I can no longer give blood myself, but I hope my story inspires people to start saving lives by registering as a blood donor."

Mike Stredder, director of blood donation for NHS blood and transplant, urged men to give blood to help save more lives.

He said: "We need more new male donors in south east London to address the decline in men becoming blood donors.

"Men are more likely to be able to donate, and able to help more patients with each donation, so we need a new generation of young male donors, to ensure our donor base is strong enough to keep supplying lifesaving blood to hospitals.

"We can assure men that out there that blood donation is an amazing experience that you can feel proud of. We need men to start their own blood story."

You can become a blood donor by booking an appointment at blood.co.uk or calling 0300 123 23 23.