Half century for blood donor

PRINTER David Wyard donated blood for the 50th time – on the day one of his sons joined the family tradition and gave his first contribution.Mr Wyard keeps on donating because he has been told his blood can be used for babies in need of transfusions.

PRINTER David Wyard donated blood for the 50th time - on the day one of his sons joined the family tradition and gave his first contribution.

Mr Wyard keeps on donating because he has been told his blood can be used for babies in need of transfusions. He knows the importance of that as his own daughter Amanda was born prematurely and needed blood.

Mr Wyard was presented with a special award by the National Blood Service to mark his half century milestone and commitment to saving lives, and a crystal plate because the his 50th donation coincided with his 50th birthday.

At the session at St John's Church Hall, Princes Road, Felixstowe, his youngest son Benjamin, 18, donated his first unit of blood.


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His wife Lynn and oldest son Christopher, 20, are already donors and the family is encouraging Amanda, 16, to join them when she is 17.

Mr Wyard, 50, of Felixstowe, a printer with Five Castle Press, said he initially became a donor because he thought it was a good thing to do, but Amanda had been born 13 weeks early weighing only three pounds and had needed blood transfusions.

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"Having had that experience with my own daughter when she was a baby, I know just how important it is to give blood," he said.

He is a diet controlled diabetic and believes that giving blood encourages him to be good with his diet as if he had to take medication to control his diabetes he would no longer be able to donate.

Despite reaching the 50 donations, he plans to continue being a donor until he has to retire at the age of 70.

"As long as I am healthy I am glad to give it," he said.

He started giving in 1981 at the St John Ambulance Centre in Felixstowe. He is so dedicated that when he missed a Felixstowe session, he drove to Ipswich to make sure he could still give and not miss his turn.

Ruth Greenaway, communications officer for the National Blood Service in East Anglia, said the NBS was delighted that Mr Wyard was such a loyal donor.

"Through his donations as many as 150 lives may have been saved and it is wonderful to hear that he plans to continue giving blood for as long as he can," she said.

"It is an additional bonus that both he and Mrs Wyard have encouraged their children to become blood donors, too."

Hospitals across England and north Wales use 9,000 units of blood a day. Currently only six per cent of the eligible population give blood.

WEBLINK: www.blood.co.uk

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