Blood donor who is scared of needles encourages people to save lives

Erith
Erith

A woman who has been giving blood for nearly 40 years - even though she is scared of needles - has pledged her support to the Advertiser’s Give A Pint Save A Life campaign.

Sue Hope has been giving blood twice a year since she turned 18, apart from when she was pregnant or ill, and has donated 64 pints of blood in total.

Give a Pint, Save  A Life - the Buxton Advertiser's 2017 campaign to encourage more people to pledge to sign up as blood donors.

Give a Pint, Save A Life - the Buxton Advertiser's 2017 campaign to encourage more people to pledge to sign up as blood donors.

She said: “When you give blood you give it without prejudice and without reservation. It is to help whoever needs it at that time, be that old, young, male or female, it doesn’t matter.”

Sue first attended a donation session with her father shortly after her 18th birthday. Now aged 57, she has no plans to give up.

But she admits: “I’m scared of needles. I hate them, but I just shut my eyes and grit my teeth.

“It’s a small scratch and that’s it, but when you think why you are giving blood and someone is having surgery or a transfusion, they really need it. So I don’t let my fears get in the way.”

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The importance of giving blood was really bought home to Sue when her nephew, Nick was in a car accident ten years ago. She said: “He was a backseat passenger and went through the windscreen and needed blood during surgery.

“He’s made a great recovery but without that donation of blood you don’t know what might have happened.”

NHS Blood and Transplant need to collect 1.6 million units of blood each year to meet the needs of patients across England and every year 200,000 new blood donors are needed to replace those who no longer donate for reasons such as ill-health, pregnancy or foreign travel, and to 
ensure the right mix of blood groups.

There are four main blood groups – O, A, B and AB. Sue, from Peak Dale, is group O which is the most common and therefore the most in demand. Her dad was AB negative.

She said: “With such a rare blood type, I remember that in emergency situations a police car would come and pick him up and take him to hospital.”

It is because of the need for donors, we have set up our ‘Give a Pint, Save a Life’ campaign which is a year-long drive aimed at encouraging more people to pledge to sign up to become blood donors.

The mother-of-three and grandmother-of-three is proud to have donated so much blood. She added: “It is a great achievement and now the upper age limit has been lifted and you can give blood as long as you are fit and healthy, I will continue to do so.

“I hope other people sign up and become donors because it will make a difference to people’s lives. If you are unsure, just go along to a session first and see what happens or take a friend, but don’t put off doing it.”

Great news

Sunday was the first blood donor session of 2017 in New Mills and 100 people turned up to give blood. Twenty of the donors were giving blood for the first time.

Linda Short, session nurse at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We were really pleased to see so many dedicated blood donors at Sunday’s New Mills session.

“Despite the bad weather we collected 100 donations, which could potentially save or improve the lives of up to 300 people.

“We would like to say a big thank you to all our donors and look forward to seeing you at the next donation session in New Mills.”

Pledge your support

Don’t forget to let us know if we’ve inspired you to give blood for the first time. Call our reporter Lucy Ball on 01298 767081 or email

lucy.ball@jpress.co.uk.

We are also printing a form in the paper for people to sign and pledge their support to the campaign.

In the meantime, we’re also interested in hearing more of your experiences of giving or receiving blood.

Get in touch with your stories, or send us your donor selfies and let us share them with our readers.

Contact Lucy on the above email, or submit them via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/buxtonadvertiser or on Twitter at 
@Buxton_News.

Remember, we’ll be running the campaign throughout the whole of 2017, so there’s plenty of time to get involved.