Dedicated blood donors from the county were recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant for their loyalty and commitment at a recent ceremony.
James Grey, from Howick, Marjorie Chambers and David Butler, from Cramlington, Steven Dent, from Ashington, and Ronnie Hush, from Tweedmouth, were among 26 donors from the North East, who had made 3,078 donations collectively and were honoured with commemorative medals at the ceremony held at Lumley Castle in Durham.
Each blood donation can save the lives of up to three people. If a donor has given blood 100 times, they have potentially helped save, or improve the lives of up to 300 patients.
Out of the four per cent of the eligible population who give blood, just one per cent reaches 100 donations.
Guest speaker at the ceremony was 40-year-old Joanne Liddle, whose daughter Nicole received a life-saving platelet transfusion shortly after birth after developing a rash and becoming unwell.
It was later discovered that Nicole was a NAIT baby, which is a blood-related disease that affects newborns and can cause brain damage or death.
Joanne said: “Donors are amazing. They give up precious time and do something that has such a significant impact on individuals and families.
“It saved my daughter’s life and I now have a happy, healthy three-year-old who brightens the lives of all those she encounters – life simply wouldn’t be the same without her.”
Amanda Eccles, senior marketing coordinator at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “These loyal donors are very special to us, which is why such an event gives us the opportunity to say a real heartfelt thanks.
“Between them, they have saved thousands of lives, and improved the lives of countless others who have required blood transfusion. These donors are an inspiration to us all.”
In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over seven stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years.
To book an appointment, call 0300 1232323 or visit www.blood.co.uk