Blood donors are honoured

Dedicated blood donors Larry Walters and Marlene Linaker have been recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for their loyalty and commitment at a special ceremony.

Thursday, 26th January 2017, 1:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th January 2017, 1:17 pm

Both Larry and Marlene received an award and certificate for reaching their 100th blood donation milestones.

Larry, 74, from Heage, has been donating blood for 42 years and started when a friend encouraged him to go along.

Marlene, 76, from Alfreton, has been a blood donor for 55 years and started donating because she thought it was a worthwhile thing to do.

Marlene said: “When I first decided to give blood I thought I might be too thin to donate but I was determined to give it a try. When I got there I saw there was a queue of people much bigger than me, but I was fine and made my first donation with no problems.”

The lifesaving efforts of 24 blood donors from the region, who had collectively made an amazing 2,550 donations, were also honoured with commemorative medals at the ceremony held at Thrumpton Hall in Nottingham.

Each blood donation can save the lives of up to three people. If a donor has given blood 100 times, they have potentially helped save or improve the lives of up to 300 patients. Out of the three per cent of the eligible population who give blood, just one per cent reaches 100 donations.

Blood recipient Lorna Smalley was guest speaker at the ceremony. The 39-year-old received life-saving blood products to treat encephalitis.

Lorna, who is a practice pharmacist, said: “I owe my life to blood donors and without them my husband would be a widower, my daughter wouldn’t have a mum and my son wouldn’t have been born.

“I would encourage anyone who can give blood to do it. You never know when you or someone you love might need it – I didn’t.”

Amanda Eccles, senior marketing co-ordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “These dedicated blood donors are very special, which is why this ceremony gives us the opportunity to say thank you.” For more information, call 0300 1232323.