Oban blood donors help hun­dreds

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

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.

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