Blood donor 'drained' a dozen times

PUBLISHED: 01:01 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:46 10 June 2010

A COLATON Raleigh pensioner has been thanked for saving hundreds of lives after donating 110 pints of blood. Chris Whittock, 69, of Hawkerland Road, began giving blood in 1977 and recently gave his last pint at Budleigh Salterton Public Hall because t

A COLATON Raleigh pensioner has been thanked for saving hundreds of lives - after donating 110 pints of blood.Chris Whittock, 69, of Hawkerland Road, began giving blood in 1977 and recently gave his last pint at Budleigh Salterton Public Hall - because the retirement age for donors is 70. Mr Whittock, a former John Lewis assistant buyer for boyswear, said he was sad to retire and hoped other donors would come forward to take up his mantle.During his 31 years as a blood donor, it has been calculated Mr Whitock has helped between 300-400 people.And he donated every time he was asked - missing just one session following a trip to the USA.The National Blood Service presented Mr Whittock with a certificate of thanks for his dedication."I am going to miss doing it and the feeling of helping somebody. It makes you feel pretty good because you are doing something special. "I would like somebody to take up my mantle," said married Mr Whittock, who retired to Colaton Raleigh from London 11 years ago."They have drained me the equivalent of about 12 or 13 times but I am not looking bad on it!"When I gave my last pint, the nurse, who looks after two beds at a time, was also looking after a lad who was giving his first pint. I said 'this is a first and last'."The only time I couldn't donate was when we came back from America. They were checking for the Nile virus which came from mosquitoes. I was disappointed and quite upset when I walked out because I couldn't do it." In his 31 years of donations, Mr Whittock said little had changed - except for more modern equipment. And he urged anyone who was contemplating donating blood - but feeling apprehensive - to go along to a session or contact the National Blood Service."I don't think people realise how important blood is for an operation," added Mr Whittock. "It's a good feeling being able to help a few people and give someone back their life."National Blood Service spokeswoman Fay Simcox said: "We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Whittock for his 110 donations. To reach such a high amount is a fantastic achievement. "Each donation given can help to save or treat up to three adults. I hope people reading this will be inspired by Mr Whittock's dedication and might consider signing up to donating blood themselves. You really can make a difference."National Blood Service 0845 7727711.

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