EIGHT dedicated blood donors from Coventry, who have potentially saved more than 2,400 lives, have been recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for their loyalty and commitment.
The eight donors, who had collectively made 824 donations, were honoured for their lifesaving efforts with commemorative medals at the ceremony at Dunchurch Park Hotel.
They joined 26 other blood donors from across Warwickshire.
All those at the ceremony had donated on at least 100 occasions.
Chris Ross, 69, a retired newspaper photographer has been donating blood for 50 years after his parents instilled in him from an early age the importance of giving blood.
He said: “I have always found it easy to give blood. Donating blood is so important. Hospitals depend on it and it saves lives. My wife Penny needed blood transfusions when she was 11 after being knocked over by a car. I feel proud to donate blood.”
Andy Gray, 61, a retired scientist has been donating blood for approximately 43 years after donating his first unit of blood at Hatfield Polytechnic.
He said: “Most of my university class volunteered to donate as it seemed a worthwhile cause. As a family we now understand the importance as my father needed blood after surgery and both my son and daughter have donated blood.”
Jim Green, 74, retired from Corley has been giving blood for approximately 50 years after seeing publicity material in his workplace.
He said: “Giving blood is right up there with all the important things you should do in your life. A family member would have lost her life during childbirth without receiving several units of blood. I also have a family friend who requires two or three units of blood every fortnight.”
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 hospital patients through donating blood. Out of the three per cent of the population who give blood just one per cent reach 100 donations.
Guest speaker Natasha Pollock, from Stratford upon Avon, thanked donors for the 39 units of blood which saved her life on Christmas day in 2015 after a complicated emergency c-section.
Natasha said: “I just wouldn’t be alive without blood donors.
“My children wouldn’t have their mother and my husband wouldn’t have his wife. The staff at the Worcester hospital called me their ‘Christmas miracle’ after telling me I hold the record for the most blood transfused in any single procedure at the hospital. “
Karen Healy, 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, they have saved thousands of lives and improved the lives of countless others who have required blood transfusions. These donors are an inspiration to us all.”
In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 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 book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk