Four dedicated blood and platelet donors from the Luton area have saved up to 1,650 lives. Their loyalty and commitment were recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant at a ceremony last month.
One of the group, 64-year-old John Lawrence, has given blood 100 times over a four decade period.
He said: “Having worked in a hospital for 22 years, I could see the real need for blood products and the reasons behind that need, like road traffic accidents.”
Each blood donation can potentially save the lives of up to three people, while a platelet donation can help up to three adults or 12 babies.
A total of 31 donors were honoured at the ceremony and given commemorative medals.
One of the guest speakers was Sidney Abbott, whose granddaughter Holly May was diagnosed with an aggressive tumour when she was just 22 months old.
She underwent several months of gruelling treatment and was given numerous platelet and blood transfusions to treat the aggressive cancer. Thankfully, she got through this difficult time and is now a happy seven-year-old. Sidney said: “Today has been a great reminder of how lucky we are to still have Holly May in our lives . . . the blood and platelet donors played a major part in her treatment and recovery.”
> NHS Blood and Transplant is keen to welcome new and existing donors to the donor centre at St George’s Square in Luton. In general, as long as you’re fit and healthy, weigh over 50kg and are aged between 17 and 66, you should be able to give blood. Find out more at www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.