Donor honoured for his gift of life
THIS man's a life-saver – 100 times over!
Robert Petchell, 66, has now given 100 pints of blood – having made his first donation at the tender age of 19.
In recognition of his achievement, he has been presented with a cut glass decanter and a special donor card and now he is keen to use his story to encourage others to follow in his footsteps.
The NHS is reliant on the 2.1 million units of blood that are donated each year to carry out everything from routine operations to emergency surgery and blood transfusions.
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This equates to just four per cent of the UK donating two to three times a year.
However, blood must be used within 35 days of donation, so more volunteers are always needed.
Robert, of Barton, said he had only missed one or two sessions since he started donating.
He said: "I started when I was 19. I used to go with my next door neighbour.
"I've been to all the sessions in Barton – I have probably only missed one or two.
"I don't have a rare or common blood type, it's just in between, but it is needed all the same.
"Donating is just my way of helping others. As long as it is going out my arm and not in, I haven't got a problem with it."
Robert said he would urge anyone to give it a try, adding it was far easier than many would think.
He said: "More people need to donate. You can't stockpile your own blood in a drum in case you need it, so we need to give it to others.
"More young people need to start, the older people will not be able to do it forever.
"You don't have to travel far, the facilities are everywhere.
"It's just a needle in your arm. It takes 20 minutes and you get free drink and a biscuit."
Find out more
For more information on giving blood, or to find your nearest donation centre, visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 1232323.