Blood donors who have saved hundreds of lives

Blood donors Sylvia Barnard and Karen Foxall
Blood donors Sylvia Barnard and Karen Foxall

A PAIR of generous Thame ladies have been awarded for giving blood 75 times each.

Sylvia Barnard and Karen Foxall were praised for their remarkable commitment to blood donation in a special ceremony in Oxford last week.

They were part of a larger group of significant donors who between them have given enough blood to save the lives of 20,000 people, an average of 255 lives saved by each and every one of the 76 donors at the event.

The ceremony celebrated the commitment and dedication of the long-serving blood donors, with 19 of those present commended for reaching the 100 donation milestone.

Between them, the donors have given 6,346 units of blood, the equivalent of 5,250 pints.

Speaking at the event was Nathalie Marshall from Swindon who knows from personal experience how important blood donating is.

Her daughter Isla was diagnosed with a life-threatening congenital heart defect while Nathalie was just 22 weeks pregnant.

Since her birth, Isla has had a number of life saving operations. During and after the operations, she needed donated blood to save her life.

In a moving speech, Nathalie described to the donors at the awards ceremony how after one life saving operation on her baby daughter’s heart, a full blood transfusion was needed: “I watched as the blood trickled into her tiny body, and she turned from a pasty pale colour, to a rosy cheeked pink colour, before my very eyes.

“That could have been your blood.

“Without you Isla, and others like her, would not be here today.

“Thank you for what you have done and what you continue to do.”

Jon Latham from the NHS donation service said: “The commitment that these donors have shown to donating blood throughout their lives is remarkable.

“They are shining examples to others thinking of donating for the first time or to those who haven’t donated in a while.

“We are delighted to honour them in this way and are grateful for every single donation they have given.”

Anyone wanting to donate for the first time should be aged between 17-65, weighing at least 50 kg, that’s 7 stone 12lbs, and be in general good health.

If you’ve donated before, you can start again and donate until your 70th birthday and there is no upper age limit for donors who have donated in the last two years.

To book an appointment call 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk