The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has honoured this year’s ‘super-donors’ — the remarkable people who give blood and platelets over and over again.
Some 167 who donated 50 times, and 17 who donated 100 times, were recognised at a ceremony at Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork at the weekend.
“I’ve 114 donations done now at this stage, and I plan to keep donating. It’s nice to be able to give something back in life,” said super-donor Brendan Howard.
“I think more people should donate, without a shadow of a doubt. It’s something a lot of people don’t bother their arse about, if you’ll excuse my French, but it’s so important.”
Mr Howard first donated blood at Cork Institute of Technology, largely because his mother was a donor.
“My mother would always give blood and she would come home with the stickers and that,” he said. “I brought her along to the ceremony because she gave blood something like 47 times but you don’t get honoured until 50. So I took her down to it and she was as proud as punch.”
While Mr Howard urges more people to give blood, he admits it would be harder for him to do if his work was not so supportive.
“I service coffee machines for Milano coffee systems so I travel all over,” he said. “But I get a text message from the Blood Transfusion Service to remind me to come and donate and I forward that to work and they always give me the time off for it and cover the diesel to get down to Cork and everything.”
Currently, only 3% of the population are blood donors.
“Just one donation can save the lives of three people, so that just gives you an idea of the magnitude of the work these people have been doing over the years,” said Anne O’Donovan from the IBTS.
See giveblood.ie or call 021 4807433 or 1850 731 137.
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