Leslie’s call to donate blood

Leslie Rowley, from Ketton, who has donated 120 pints of blood
Leslie Rowley, from Ketton, who has donated 120 pints of blood
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A man who has donated 120 pints of blood over the course of 50 years has urged others to join up to the lifesaving service.

Leslie Rowley, 72, of Capendale Close, Ketton, made his 120th donation to NHS Blood and Transplant in January.

Leslie began giving blood in the early 1960s while working at the old Allis-Chalmers factory in Essendine.

The factory made tractors and other farm machinery.Leslie recalls one day seeing a colleague badly injured while loading machinery on to a lorry.

He said: “The bucker slipped off the loader and sliced through his leg.”

The accident encouraged Leslie to start donating and he discovered that he was O Rh D negative type, so could donate to anyone.

Leslie said: “They put me on a blue callout. If they need blood urgently they can call me.”

Leslie has been told he helps nine people with every pint of his blood, meaning he has helped potentially hundreds during his half century of donating.

He has been recognised for his landmark number of donations with a crystal plate and a decanter.

But for Leslie, giving blood is not something done for personal satisfaction.

He said: “I would recommend that eveyone do it. The service is short of blood.

“It’s not a difficult thing to do. It doesn’t take long and you get a glass of water before you start. They prick your finger but you don’t feel that.”

The NHS needs about 200,000 new registered donors every year to keep donor levels stable.

Generally peopole in good health, aged 17 to 65 (if it’s your first time) and weigh at least 7st 12Ib you can donate.

Women under 20 and less then 10st 3lb and 5ft 6in need their blood volume estimating before they can donate.

To find out more about blood donation and to book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk