Dedicated blood donor a life-saver

Long-time blood donor John Tidey. d406519
Long-time blood donor John Tidey. d406519

Mr Tidey (67) said he had been giving blood every three to six months for almost 50 years. He began giving blood when he was 18 and living in the UK.

‘Well, you can’t get it from anywhere else. I just think it’s the right thing to do,’ Mr Tidey said.

An Australian Red Cross Blood Service representative said Mr Tidey’s donations had potentially saved almost 1400 lives.

Mr Tidey had an accident in 1980 when he was working on a pergola and fell from the ladder into a large fish tank, which severely cut his back.

He was in hospital for a week and required blood transfusions.

‘It was nice to have someone do the same for you, but you don’t give blood to get it back,’ he said.

Mr Tidey said he tried to donate blood two months after the accident, but was turned away because his blood count was too low.

He said he might have to stop donating when he reached 70 and wanted to make it to 500 donations.

‘I’m not going to give blood on my 70th birthday and then say ‘that’s it, no more’,’ he said.

Mr Tidey said not everyone could donate, so it was important that those who could made the effort.

He said one in three people would need blood at some point in their life, but just one in 30 people donated.

The Australian Red Cross Blood Service needs 220 donations over the next fortnight, and encouraged residents to donate with or in honour of their father, to celebrate Father’s Day.