Fri | Jul 23, 2021

Blood Bank, Malta recognise top voluntary blood donors

Published:Saturday | June 19, 2021 | 12:06 AM
From left: World Blood Donor Day awardee, Mark Redwood, poses with Malta Brand Manager, Melissa-Kim Dunkley; Sonya Binns Lawrence, who has donated more than 100 units of blood and Franklyn White, who has donated more than 50 units.
From left: World Blood Donor Day awardee, Mark Redwood, poses with Malta Brand Manager, Melissa-Kim Dunkley; Sonya Binns Lawrence, who has donated more than 100 units of blood and Franklyn White, who has donated more than 50 units.

In celebration of World Blood Donor Day on Monday, The National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS), in partnership with Malta, awarded the Blood Bank’s top blood donors. The donors received gift baskets and plaques courtesy of Malta. Their names were also unveiled on the NBTS Blood Donors’ Honours List.

During the handover, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, state minister for health and wellness, highlighted the importance of voluntary blood donors. “Giving blood plays a vital role in society. Blood is needed for more than just accidents or gunshot wounds. It’s needed for women during pregnancy and childbirth, leukaemia and cancer patients, cardiovascular diseases, trauma patients and advanced medical procedures. I want to say thanks to everyone who is a voluntary blood donor because the universal need for giving blood is a real thing,” said Cuthbert-Flynn.

Franklyn White, who was awarded for donating more than 50 units of blood, shared that his blood donation journey has been rewarding. “I’ve been giving blood for about 25 years now. I started giving blood at age 29. At the time, my wife was pregnant, and after that, I gave blood to my mother and brother, two units each. I realised how hard it was to get people to donate blood, and so whenever I can, I donate. I don’t always get to save lives, but giving blood improves those chances, and that’s all that matters,” said White.

He said he appreciated the recognition. “I really appreciate the recognition from Malta and the National Blood Transfusion Service. I feel very good and happy because sometimes giving blood is like being an undercover hero,” he said.

White, along with other top donors, encouraged people who might be wary of donating blood to go through the screening and appointment process ahead of visiting the blood bank to make the experience a smooth one.

Malta Brand Manager Melissa-Kim Dunkley expressed delight in seeing individuals dedicated to the cause of supporting the blood bank’s life-saving services. “We at Malta have always been strong supporters of the blood bank’s mission, and that is why we regularly try to host blood drives to play our part. We’ve also donated over 50 cases of Malta so far to assist with the aftercare of donors who love to have Malta after their session,” she said.

To donate blood or learn more about the National Blood Transfusion Service, call (876) 630-1984. You may also visit nbts.gov.jm or @1bloodbankja on Twitter and Instagram. Have a good story you’d like to share? Email us at goodheart@gleanerjm.com.

World Blood Donor Day was celebrated under the theme, ‘Give blood and keep the world beating’.