Blood donors who have collectively saved more 10,000 lives have been recognised for their loyalty.
The lifesaving efforts of 34 blood donors from across Sussex were honoured with medals at a ceremony in Brighton.
John Williams, 69, a retired electrical engineer from Horsham, has been a blood donor for more than 50 years – and has given blood more than 100 times.
John said: “I’ve been donating blood since I was 18 years old, after being encouraged by my family members. Donating blood is the most generous and precious gift you can give anyone, with no reward. Please help to save lives and become a donor. ”
NHS Blood and Transplant said each blood donation could save the lives of up to three people.
Out of the four per cent of the eligible population who give blood just one per cent reach 100 donations.
The guest speaker at the ceremony was Claire Baldwin, who lost her son, Harvey, aged eight, in October 2014, after an 18 month battle with Leukaemia.
“It was a privilege to meet with such dedicated donors,” said Claire.
“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 to 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, from 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 heart felt thanks. Between them, they have saved thousands of lives, and improved the lives of countless others who have required blood transfusion.
“These donors are an inspiration to us all.”
People who weigh over 50kg and are aged between 17 and 66 should be able to give blood.
To book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk
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