Dedicated donors save hundreds of lives

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Dedicated blood donors from Belper, who have given blood dozens of times between them, have been recognised for rolling up their sleeves to help save lives.

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. And 75 donations could have helped 225 people.

During an awards ceremony held by NHS Blood and Transplant Melvin Piasecki received a crystal award for an amazing 100 donations, a milestone which only one per cent of all blood donors reach.

Larry Walters was presented with a crystal award after reaching the wonderful milestone of 75 donations.

Mr Piasecki, aged 60, from Heage, has been a donor since he was 18. The sales representative said: “A friend prompted me to start giving, it’s my way of giving something back to society. Just stand and think a minute what if I had a serious accident? Where does the blood come from?”

The ceremony took place at the East Midlands Conference Centre and the awards were presented by Kay Brooks, from PATCHES heart group, a community group based in Nottinghamshire, which supports families whose children are diagnosed with congenital heart defects.

She told the donors: “Ninety five per cent of the families we support have children who have had or will need open heart surgery, sometimes more than once and this can’t happen without you our donors as they receive blood during their operations. That’s why I’m here today to thank you on behalf of all our members, without you their precious little ones would not survive. You have given their children the gift of life, it’s heart-warming to know that you care enough to do this and we plead with anyone who hasn’t yet to give blood.”

The two donors were joined by others from the area, with around 90 donors being recognised for their dedication.

The awards ceremony is a way of acknowledging the commitment that long serving blood donors give to saving the lives of others. It is also hoped it will encourage existing and new donors.

Upcoming blood donation sessions include: Whitemoor Centre, John O’Gaunts Way, Belper– Sunday April 7 from 9.45am-12.45pm and 2pm-3.45pm. Makeney Hall Hotel, Makeney, Milford, Belperon Monday April 15 from 1.45pm-4pm and 5pm-7.15pm and Belper Leisure Centre, Kilbourne Road, Belper on SundayMay 5 from 9.45am-12.45pm and 2pm-3.45pm.