Oban blood donors help hundreds
Blood donors in Oban have helped to save or improve more than 900 lives, writes Kathie Griffiths.
Over just two days in Oban last October, 303 people turned up to donor sessions in town to give the gift of life and now the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is hoping for a repeat.
The transfusion service will be back at the Corran Halls on Tuesday (September 18) and Tuesday October 23 from 3.30pm to 7.30pm.
On the service’s last visit to Oban, 43 new donors were welcomed through the doors.
One of them was 23-yearold Leigh MacKenzie who is a nurse at Oban’s Lorn and Islands Hospital, but has since been volunteering in Africa.
‘Because I’ve been in Africa I can’t give blood this time but I’ll definitely do it again,’ she said, adding: ‘It’s one of those things you talk about doing because you know it’s a good thing then chicken out when it comes to it, but I went along with a friend and it was really quick and easy. There was nothing to be scared about.’
Leigh’s friend was Oban High School PE teacher Cara Potts.
Leigh, who is about to return to Kenya for another three months with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) where she is helping 15- to 35-year-olds find employment through entrepreneurship, continued: ‘I felt a bit guilty for not giving blood earlier.
‘I give blood transfusions at work to help people and now I can say I’ve helped people as a donor too. I hope more people will give blood this year.’
Jennifer Wilson from Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service said: ‘On our most recent visit to Oban in October 2017, we welcomed an amazing 303 donors over two days. This demonstrates that the people of Oban are very committed blood donors.’
Just three teaspoons of blood can save the life of a premature baby. Blood can be used for treating cancer, leukaemia and trauma.
However, donated blood only has a shelf life of 35 days so supplies must be constantly replenished.
People wanting to start giving blood need to be 17 and over. Either register as a donor by visiting scotblood. co.uk or just go along to the Corran Halls when the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is in town.
Oban nurse Leigh MacKenzie was unable to give blood this time due to working in Africa, but plans to donate at other sessions.