Blood Service calling on Aussies to make donating a habit

Gerard Coyte with fellow blood donors Gina Hollis and  Eleanor Stewart in 2017, when he reached 450 donations. Picture: Martin Kennealey d470076
Gerard Coyte with fellow blood donors Gina Hollis and Eleanor Stewart in 2017, when he reached 450 donations. Picture: Martin Kennealey d470076

GERARD Coyte has helped save more than 1500 lives.

The 77-year-old from Duncraig has been donating blood since 1970, when he was working for an oil company in Sydney and a serious helicopter accident killed multiple people.

Mr Coyte and his colleagues rolled up their sleeves in an effort to help the injured.

His gift did not end there, with Mr Coyte still paying regular visits to the Perth CBD Donor Centre and reaching more than 500 donations, each of which can save up to three lives.

“If you’ve been blessed to have good health and be able to do it, why not?” Mr Coyte said.

“I think you’ve got to take the leap of faith.

“Just think of the people who need it.”

Mr Coyte is one of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service’s ‘donor legends’, with regular donors contributing about a quarter of the nation’s blood supplies.

The Blood Service is calling on people to make donating a regular habit, with data showing of the 91,000 Australians who gave blood for the first time in the last 12 months, 43 per cent did not return for a second donation.

Blood Service spokesman Dave Favory said the regulars could not do it alone.

“We need more people like Gerard to make blood or plasma donation a regular, life-saving habit,” he said.

“It takes just an hour of your time to donate blood and every donation can help save up to three lives.”

The call aligns with National Blood Donor Week, running from June 9 to 15, which celebrates the 470,000 donors who give 1.4m donations of blood each year.

To find out more, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au.

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