Eastleigh blood donors honoured

Eastleigh’s award winning blood donors L-R  Jimmy Monaghan, Sue Parsons, Michael Thornton, Anthony Keep.

Eastleigh’s award winning blood donors L-R Jimmy Monaghan, Sue Parsons, Michael Thornton, Anthony Keep.

A group of dedicated blood donors from Eastleigh, including the town’s former MP Mike Thornton, have potentially saved more than 2,000 lives between them say the NHS Blood and Transplant service.

The four blood donors from Eastleigh, who have collectively made 773 donations, were among those honoured for their lifesaving efforts with commemorative medals at a ceremony in Botley, Southampton.

They joined 41 other blood donors from across Hampshire. All those at the ceremony had donated on at least 100 occasions.

Sue Parsons, 76, from Chandlers Ford has been donating blood for 54 years after initially being asked to volunteer while working in Southampton.

Sue said:

“Giving blood costs you nothing but helps save so many lives. Our eldest daughter was in the intensive care liver unit at Kings College Hospital 20 years ago where she received many pints of blood to help stem internal bleeding.”

Jimmy Monaghan, 63,from Fair Oak has been donating for 41 years after being allowed time off by his then employers, the Ford Motor company:

“It’s all free plus you get a cup of tea and parking! A wife of my work mate gave birth to quads and needed 40 pints to save her life. Giving blood really means you are helping others”

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 in local hospitals through donating blood. Out of the three per cent of the population who give blood just one per cent reach 100 donations.

Andrew Seery  who suffers  from a rare disorder which means he has to receive regular blood transfusions, thanked those who give blood.

“Thanks to blood and platelet donors I have seen my children grow up and go on to study at university. I have met many people who rely on blood transfusions to stay alive and I would like to thank blood and platelet donors on their behalf also. Blood and platelet donors allow me to have quality time with my family and it is a privilege to meet them today.”

Karen Healy, Senior Marketing Coordinator for the transfusion service said:

“These loyal donors are very special to us and 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.”

NHS Blood and Trans say anyone can give blood as long as they are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (or 70 if  they have previously donated).

To book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk

Jimmy Monaghan, and Sue Parsons received their 100th award while Mike Thornton and Anthony Keep both received their 250th award.