A dedicated blood donor from Potton who saved up to 750 lives has been recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for his loyalty and commitment.
Paul Pibworth, 52, has been a donor for more than 30 years and has donated on at least 250 occasions.
He said: “I began donating in 1980s and was encouraged to do so, by a friend who was already a blood donor. Donating blood takes a little bit of time, but can really help those, who rely on blood transfusions.”
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 four per cent of the eligible population who give blood just one per cent reach 100 donations.
The guest speaker at a ceremony held in Newmarket for donors was Pamela Phipps who received 11 units of blood in 1976, after she suffered from an advanced ruptured ectopic pregnancy which caused a haemorrhage during the early stages of her pregnancy.
She said: “If it hadn’t been for the generosity and selfless acts of blood donors, I would not have lived. I’d already been a blood donor for many years and I believe we think we’re invincible. I learned the hard way that we aren’t. I believe it to be the most altruistic act that humans can do for one another, and would like to thank you for saving my life.’
Michelle Laserna, senior marketing co-ordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “I have witnessed the dramatic effect blood transfusions have made both to my friends, and to patients who I have visited as part of my work.
“These loyal donors are very special to us, which is why such an event gives us the opportunity to say a real heartfelt thanks. Between them, these donors 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.”
In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.
To book an appointment call the donor line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk