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    Ollie Cowan

    THREE dedicated blood donors from Formby have been honoured for their life-saving generosity at a recent celebration by the NHS.

    Ivan Swainbank, David Pinder and Irene Murphy, all from Formby, were recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for their loyalty and commitment, at a ceremony at Knowsley Hall after the trio all passed the 100 donations mark.

    And they have no plans to stop giving the priceless claret any time soon as they prepare to brave the needle once more in a bid to help save a life.

    Ivan Swainbank 73, has been a blood donor for 54 years. 

    He said: “I have seen how blood helps people after a friend needed a transfusion in childbirth.  It costs nothing to do it and it saves lives.”

    Sixt-six-year-old David Pinder says he has been a blood donor since 1972 and has also donated platelets in a bid to help the NHS. 

    David said: “I started donating blood because I wanted to help others.  A short amount of your time donating blood goes such a long way to saving lives.”

    The third ‘blood brother’ Irene Murphy, 70, has been donating blood for 50 years. 

    She added: “I would encourage anyone who can, to give blood.  I persuaded my daughter to donate on her 18th birthday and she has now given 52 donations.”

    The trio were part of a group of 25 blood donors from across Merseyside, who had collectively made a staggering 3,650 donations.

    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. Out of the three per cent of the eligible population who give blood, just one per cent reaches 100 donations.

    Guest speaker at the ceremony was Southport mum Nicci Adkins, whose five year old daughter Daisy had her life saved thanks to NHS blood donors.

    Daisy suffered with a condition called diamond blackfan anaemia which meant that her body didn’t produce any red blood cells.  Daisy received blood every three to four weeks and had a total of 84 blood transfusions to keep her alive.

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    In December 2015, Daisy received a bone marrow transplant from her younger sister, Pixie and since January 2016 she has enjoyed life free from blood transfusions and medical intervention.

    Nicci said:  “We feel very lucky that Daisy has been given a new lease of life and want to thank all blood donors who give up their time to make such a big difference.  We will never forget those who aren’t as lucky and continue to be dependant on blood transfusions and that’s why we want to encourage more people to give blood.  You really are making a huge difference to someone.”

    Amanda Eccles, Senior Marketing Coordinator 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. Daisy’s story reminds us how important their donations have been.  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.

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