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Droitwich blood donor has been helping to save lives since 1975
3:40pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
ONE OF Worcestershire’s oldest blood donors, who has been giving blood for 38 years, hopes he can carry on saving lives even further past the blood donor’s age limit.
Seventy-five-year-old Ronald Williams of Stalls Farm Road, Droitwich, started giving blood in 1975 after his wife, Eunice, asked him to come along when she was giving blood for the first time. Although she was unable to continue because she developed breast cancer and had low iron in her blood, he kept on donating.
“I’m A+ so it’s slightly more rare than O,” Mr Williams said.
He has attended The Royal British Legion on Salwarpe Road three times a year to donate his 470ml (almost a pint) of blood. When he arrived, he was asked to drink a pint of water to make sure he did not get dehydrated, and once he had finished, he had a cup of tea and a biscuit before leaving.
“When the weight (of the blood) has gone so far, a bell rings and the pump stops.
“When I started it was just like a table and now they have got all the mod-cons, it’s like an airport terminal!
“I did stop when I was 70 for about 12 months then they decided they would raise the age limit to 75 and they started taking it three times a year, and when you get to 75 it is up to the individual.”
The retired milkman will be 76 on Friday, November 1, and pending his health is still okay, he said he will continue to give blood for as long as he is allowed.
Mrs Williams has fully supported her husband, who she has been married to since 1975, in donating since he began and thought younger people should be more involved.
“I think it’s at our age you start to think about these things, and you don’t when you’re younger,” she said.
Mr Williams said there were many restrictions on giving blood unlike there were when both he and his wife were young and anybody could donate unchecked blood.
“You can’t give blood if you’ve got a cold, diarrhoea, or if you’ve been to the doctors they want to know what for, so there are a lot of restrictions. There was one man called George who always used to give blood but he had a heart attack so wasn’t able to give it anymore, but he still goes down to make the tea for everyone who does donate.”
Shailesh Mistry, lead donor relations manager for the region at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "In the borough of Worcester, there are less than 300 blood donors over the age of 55 who have donated in the past two years.
"There are 1,500 dedicated donors across Worcester and only a very small proportion are over the age of 70.
“We are grateful for the commitment shown by these donors. Taking time to donate blood is one of the most selfless and generous things you can do to help others and we hope that these donors will inspire others to follow in their footsteps."
To find out more about giving blood, or to book an appointment, call the donor line on 0300 1232323 or visit blood.co.uk
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