Meet the Sheffield man who has potentially saved 300 lives
A Sheffield man who was first persuaded to give blood as a teenager by his mum in return for coffee and biscuits has given his 100th donation.
Steve Cook, aged 53, from Gleadless, has potentially saved 300 lives through his years of donating blood to those who need it.
The theatre orderly, who works withing Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, knows more than most about the importance of giving blood - where one of his tasks is collecting blood for patients for about to undergo operations.
Health experts say one unit of blood donated can save or improve the lives of up to three people.
Steve gave his 100th donation at the Cathedral Court Blood Donor Centre in Sheffield city centre.
Steve said: “I got dragged along to my first donor session by my mum just after my 18th birthday. I was persuaded by way of a thank you of coffee and biscuits – not that we went without at home!
“From then on, I went every six months. I knew people needed blood, but it wasn’t until I started working as an orderly in the spinal injuries theatre that I truly realised the importance.
“A patient was on the operating table and losing blood. I was sent up to the blood bank to get four units. No sooner had I returned and I was sent to fetch more. In an hour I made four trips. Later in the day I thought about what had happened. It was then that I realised the importance of giving blood. The coffee and biscuits were appreciated, but insignificant.”
Steve said he would encourage others to give blood, and that the process is nothing to be worried about.
“Some people don’t give blood because they think it hurts or are afraid of needles. Allay your fears – there is a small scratch for the finger test and then another when the tube is put in your arm."
His next target is to get to 200 donations. Men are now able to donate every 12 weeks so that will take him another 23 years.
A spokesman for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are extremely grateful to Steve for his dedication and commitment, as the lifesaving effects a blood transfusion can make to a patient is remarkable. Our donors save and improve thousands of lives.”
Guidelines say if you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood.
If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.
To register or book an appointment, click here