Andy has donated his 51st pint and looks forward to donating his NEO blood many more times.
I first gave blood around 15-20 years ago. My last donation was Gold which meant so much to me. I’m really happy that I managed to give my 50th donation. It means a lot because it was 50 pints of blood in the same week as my Mum and Dad’s golden anniversary so it was a 50 and a 50.
I donate because I like the feeling of helping somebody else: you’re doing a bit of good to help someone else in life.
I’ve got children of my own and family and you think would it be there if people like myself didn’t donate, and no it wouldn’t, so I like to give a little bit back to life.
Kids come along and you think about it and your kids might be needing it.
My dad was also a blood donor until he had to give up due to his health years ago. He got to about 44 donations. Once he couldn’t donate anymore, I wanted to follow the tradition of people in our family doing it.
I’m an agricultural contractor. I’m a grower, we grow plants, and I’ve got a tractor farm. I run my own business driving tractors and diggers doing work for other people. It’s an occupation where there’s lots of accidents and people may need blood.
It was amazing to find out my blood can be given to babies. The first thing I knew is the nurse said to me ‘Oh you’ve got baby blood’ and I just looked at her and I thought ‘Oh you know I’m 47, what do you mean by that?’ She then stuck a label on the blood that said NEO. I asked what that meant, and she told me that my blood is suitable for new born babies! Finding out brought a tear to my eye.
My mother’s not been very well, and I couldn’t do anything more to help her because she was really poorly. But I feel like if I keep donating I can keep helping other people. Donating could help my friends’ mums and dads to have a blood transfusion if they needed it.
I’d like to dedicate my 51st donation to my mother, she recently passed away.
Every donation I’ve ever gone to I’ve always found all the staff absolutely lovely. There’s never anything that is too much trouble for them. Even though it’s been really difficult times for everyone with Covid, the staff make it worth going. Everyone’s fantastic. I’ve never had a problem and I’ve always found it a lovely experience this time and the 50 others. You’ve got to say thank you to them all.
It was amazing to find out my blood can be given to babies.
All the donors are always nice too. I think it’s because everybody does it because they want to do it rather than they have to. I’ve never experienced a time when anyone’s unhappy because they’ve had to wait or someone else has gone first. I just find the whole experience of being around blood donors really nice. Some people there I’ve been seeing for the last 10-15 years and you get to know them and learn a bit about them, what they do and their family which is lovely.
I always come away after a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit feeling really happy with myself and pleased that I’ve done it.
I went away in tears actually the first time they took a picture of me holding my bag of blood. I’ve got it on my phone and I’m quite proud of it.
I really look forward to reading The Donor magazine online and receiving the text message that tells me where my blood has gone. I always find that a really nice touch when you get a text message a week/ten days later saying your blood has been issued to whichever hospital. It makes me smile and I know everybody else, donors and friends of mine, say the same. You think ahh it’s probably saved a life!
I know you can’t, but imagine if ten years down the line you could meet one of the babies as a child or as an adult that you had saved. How would you feel if you think that kid wouldn’t have been alive if it hadn’t been for us? What a lovely feeling. In the future, if a kid came up to me and said I wouldn’t be here without you, you would cry your eyes out wouldn’t you?
It doesn’t matter whether you give one pint, 50 pints or 100 pints. Whoever you help, whatever you do, be it whole blood or plasma or platelets, everyone who donates, to me, has something that little bit special about them.