A Rotherham father of two has spoken out to encourage blood donors to come forward. Nick Dent, a Creative Director from Whiston, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009 and received blood on several occasions as part of his treatment at Rotherham Hospital, part of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.
Nick, father to Oscar aged five and Isaac aged three, is so grateful for the chance to see his sons grow up that he is calling on Rotherham residents to step forward and donate life-saving blood.
Nick commented: “It’s one of those things I always talked about doing and when I finally got round to doing it I was diagnosed with cancer so I can no longer give it!”
A single blood donation can be broken into three component parts, red cells, plasma and platelets, meaning that one donation can potentially save or improve the lives of up to three people.
6,000 units of blood are used in Rotherham Hospital each year and 95% of platelets used on the hospital’s haematology ward are used on patients with leukaemia. 35% of red cells donated are used on cancer patients with the remaining being used in operations.
There are currently 980 blood donors registered in Rotherham but more are always required to ensure that every blood donor session meets its targets for the hospitals. Holly Mason, Lead Donor Relations Manager for NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) said: “Giving blood is easy. It takes very little time and most people can donate.
“The change of weather also sees the start of the colds and flu season which can mean existing donors are unable to donate whilst they are unwell. With only four per cent of the eligible population giving blood regularly it is important that others come forward to donate blood if they are able to do so.”
Nick added: “I am currently in clinical remission. It’s a great feeling, coming through such a journey to get to where I am now which is trying to lead the life I had before I became ill. The blood I received helped tremendously with my treatment and recovery, it gave me a huge boost in terms of how I felt and looked.”
“My wife and I set up a blog to help family and friends understand and know what I was going through and hopefully to help them cope with it. Our two children are still too young to understand what really happened other than Daddy was in hospital for a long time and we hardly got to see each other.
“Many of our family members and a number of our friends are now more eager to give blood but sadly I’ve been informed that I’m not allowed to give blood due to the treatment I received.”
Subject to health checks, anyone over the age of 17 and weighing at least 7st 12lb can give blood.
For more information about blood donation or to make an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk, call 0300 123 2323 or follow NHSBT at http://www.facebook.com/NHSBlood or www.twitter.com/NHSGiveBlood