Life-saving donations

by Kent Caddick

Rolleston’s Wayne Cooper just keeps giving when it comes to blood donations.

Mr Cooper was among around 80 local people who came along to the Rolleston Community Centre last week to give blood as part of a New Zealand Blood Service drive to boost their supplies.

For the 64-year-old retired Rolleston man it was the 137th time he had given blood, which he said began in the late 1970s.

“I had been in hospital following a surgical procedure and I couldn’t believe the amount of blood they went through to support the patients and I thought as soon as I am well enough I will give blood.”

He hasn’t stopped since and even credits the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) with saving his life.

“In 2002 I went in to give blood and during the pre-donation check they found I had critically high blood pressure.

“It was straight off to the doctor and now I am on medication and my condition is under control.”

 NZBS donor recruitment team leader Alison Keast said they were pleased with the turnout in Rolleston for the blood drive, which netted just on 34 litres of blood. She said they had 81 people turn up for the donation drive with 72 being able to give blood on the day, including five new donors which was particularly pleasing.

“Currently we have 248 active donors on our Rolleston panel and they are a committed bunch of donors who keep on giving.

“With the continued growth in the Rolleston area we are hoping to increase the frequency of our visits to Rolleston in 2018 as we need to continue to grow the number of donors for our region.”

She said currently only 4% of eligible kiwis actually donate.