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Gift of Life Appeal: Electrician has made 103 blood donations
THIS man has helped to save the lives of more than 300 people. He’s not a doctor, a surgeon or a nurse – he is an electrician from Bishopstoke.
But Stuart Rigden is an award-winning blood donor and his red blood cells have given the gift of life to hundreds of men, women and children over the past 30 years.
Since first donating in 1979, the 58-year-old has given 103 donations and was recently honoured at the National Blood Service Awards.
Now Stuart is giving his full backing to the Daily Echo’s Gift of Life Appeal, in a bid to sign up 1,000 recruits to save 3,000 lives this summer.
These next few weeks are vital to build up blood stocks before the winter months when many of us will be suffering from flu and illness and unable to donate.
Stuart, who has the “universal donor” blood type O that can be transfused in to anybody, which makes it the most in demand, has regularly donated blood twice a year since popping into his local mobile blood donation session on a whim. After reaching his first ten donations, he became more and more determined to reach the next ten, and 30 years on he has become one of Hampshire’s most prolific donors.
Stuart, of West Horton Lane, said: “I just saw a local donor session taking place and thought I could do that and once you have donated a few times you get really enthusiastic about it and want to reach ten, 20, and it just snowballs.
“The first thing I would say to any potential donors is that it’s the best medical check you can have. Every six months I go along to donate and I know that I must be in good shape if they are allowing me to do so.
“But most importantly it is so worthwhile and it is nice to know that I am doing something positive for people who are fighting to survive.
“I think this campaign is a brilliant idea and I will be making sure that all my friends and family sign up.
“It is so easy to do. I would urge everyone to take action and sign up today.”
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