Ipswich: Man ‘too heavy’ to give blood celebrates donor milestone

JUST months after he was told he was too heavy to give blood, Nigel Smith is today celebrating donating his 25th pint.

In September, Mr Smith was disappointed to discover he was unable to donate his milestone pint because he weighed too much to be able to safely lie on the bed.

At his regular donating session, held at his work place, BT’s Adastral Park in Martlesham, the CAMRA member said nurses broke the news that the standard beds can only take people weighing up to 20st.

At 24-stone he was told he was too heavy to give blood.

But the 50-year-old said he was “over the moon” when staff from the National Blood Service called him to make him aware of special sessions held at Martlesham Community Centre.

Mr Smith, of Back Hamlet, Ipswich said: “I was actually invited to go to a special session by the blood donor team,” he said. “They called up to let me know they had a session where there would be stronger beds.

“So last Wednesday I was able to donate my 25th pint of blood. It felt great to be able to donate again, it was a real milestone.

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“I am really grateful that we were able to sort the problem and they contacted me to let me know. It is nice, positive end to the story.”

Mr Smith, who has been donating blood for the last 20 years, urged other people to follow his lead and make donating blood a regular part of their lives.

He said: “I wasn’t aware of the special sessions, but I am hoping I will be able to go back to regularly donating blood, I am already booked in again for May.

“Giving blood is something I feel is really important and I was so shocked and disappointed when I was turned away last time.

“The next milestone is 50 pints, it will probably take me a while, another 10 years or so, but I am determined to get there.

“I am passionate about encouraging other people to give blood, if you are unsure of where to do it just ask, they are really helpful.”

And Mr Smith added that one of his New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight.

“Hopefully if I can lose a bit of weight I will be able to go back to donating at work on the standard beds again,” he added.