A dedicated blood donor from Whaley Bridge has been honoured for her loyalty and commitment to helping save lives.
Diana Howe, 65, who has been donating blood for 47 years, was recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant after reaching her 100th blood donation milestone.
The lifesaving efforts of 37 blood donors from the region, who had collectively made an amazing 4,000 donations, were also honoured with commemorative medals during a ceremony held at The Monastery in Gorton.
Each blood donation can save the lives of up to three people. If a donor has given blood 100 times, they have potentially helped save, or improve the lives of up to 300 patients.
Blood recipient Rick Mills was invited to speak at the ceremony. Rick, 42, received a life-saving blood transfusion following an operation as a child. He was again reminded of the importance of blood donation in 2007, when his wife Kerry went into premature labour with their second son Christian. Devastatingly, Christian was stillborn and Kerry suffered a life-threatening haemorrhage. Kerry needed 13 units of blood to stabilise her condition. Two years later, when their daughter Amy was born, Kerry needed another transfusion.
Rick said: “I owe my life, my wife’s life, and therefore my children’s lives, to those who selflessly give blood. You can’t make blood, it has to be donated, and I see it like this – pay in now as you never know when you, a family member or a friend may need it.”
Amanda Eccles, Senior Marketing Co-ordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “These dedicated blood donors are very special to us, which is why this ceremony gives us the opportunity to say thank you.
“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.”
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.