Five dedicated blood donors from Littlehampton who have saved up to 1,500 lives were recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for their loyalty and commitment at a ceremony.
In all, the lifesaving efforts of 30 blood donors from across Sussex, who have collectively saved up to 9,000 lives, were honoured with commemorative medals at the ceremony in Brighton on Friday, October 14. All the donors have donated at least 100 times.
One of the five donors, Philip Boole, 67, retired from East Preston, started giving blood at the age of 18 and has been a loyal donor for 49 years, donating 100 times.
Philip said: “I was approached back in 1966 by two ladies in uniform, who asked if I would donate blood. I started to give blood at my local village hall in Midhurst and have been donating ever since then. My children are blood donors too. It is great to know I’ve impacted someone’s life and helped them to live on.”
Each blood donation can potentially save the lives of up to three people. So if a donor has given blood 100 times they have potentially helped save the lives of up to 300 patients through donating blood. Just one per cent of blood donors reach 100 donations.
The guest speaker at the ceremony was Claire Baldwin, who sadly lost her son, Harvey, aged eight, on October 30 last year after an 18 month battle with leukaemia.
Claire said: “It was a privilege to meet with such dedicated donors. Harvey received a total of 35 units of blood and 56 pools of platelets during his 18 months of illness.
“Before this we were unaware of the needs of those undergoing any long term treatment, let alone a young child with blood cancer. But our eyes have been opened to the need for blood for many different reasons.
“And I would like to thank blood donors for the 91 times they prolonged my son’s life and gave us another day with him.”
Michelle Laserna, senior marketing coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “These loyal donors are very special to us, which is why such an event gives us the opportunity to say a real heartfelt thanks.
“Between them, these donors have saved thousands of lives, and improved the lives of countless others. We hope these donors will inspire others to become blood donors.”
In general, as long as someone is fit and healthy, weighs more than seven stone 12 lbs (50kg) and is aged between 17 and 66 – or 70 if you have given blood before – you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.
To register to be a blood donor or book an appointment call the donor line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit blood.co.uk
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