Lifesaver Andrew honoured

Blood recipient Jayne Snell presents veteran blood donor Andrew Fletcher with his award.

Blood recipient Jayne Snell presents veteran blood donor Andrew Fletcher with his award.

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A Knaresborough man has been honoured for rolling up his sleeves to help save lives at a recent awards ceremony.

Andrew Fletcher was recognised by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) for making more than 75 blood donations.

Only around 4percent of the eligible population give blood and of that 4percent, only 2percent ever reach 75 donations. And as each single donation can save up to three lives, Mr Fletcher may have helped save over 225 patients.

The 57-year-old biomedical scientist has been giving blood for almost 40 years. He first began donating while working in London in 1973, in response to the IRA bombing of King’s Cross Station.

Mr Fletcher, who lives in Flaxby, said he had kept donating ever since due to his laboratory training and experience, which has served as a constant reminder of the need for blood - both for routine and emergency transfusions.

He said: “Giving blood is simple and safe and your donation will improve the life chances of another person.”

Mr Fletcher was presented with a commemorative crystal award to mark his achievement by blood recipient Jayne Snell during a ceremony in Harrogate. Mrs Snell, who lives near York, has received at least 23 units of blood and three units of platelets during her treatment for blood cancer acute myeloid leukaemia.

NHSBT spokesperson Donna Batty said: “It’s wonderful that we can call on people who have dedicated themselves to giving blood over so many years, performing a life-saving role for no reward, other than the knowledge that they are helping others.

“However, every year many existing donors in our region have to stop giving blood due to factors like ill-health and medication, so in order to maintain blood stocks, we constantly need new donors.

“If you would like to become one of the life-savers of the future, make an appointment to attend a local session either by calling 0300 123 23 23 or visiting our website - www.blood.co.uk

“We welcome new donors aged from 17 to 65 and there is no upper age limit for existing donors.”