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'I hope I helped to save lives' Swansea pensioner donates 95th pint of blood

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 04, 2014

Thomas Rees at the Ystadgnlais Welfare hall where he donated his 95th pint of blood.

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A SWANSEA Valley pensioner is celebrating after donating his 95th pint of blood.

Thomas Rees, of Heol Tredeg in Upper Cwmtwrch, first gave blood more than half a century ago and he has been helping save lives, through donating, ever since.

The 75-year-old is now hoping to reach the milestone of donating 100 pints of blood by next year.

He said: "I gave my first pint of blood in 1957 when I was doing my national service in Merseyside.

"I originally decided to give blood as I wanted to save people's lives and I hope I have helped to do so."

Mr Rees said he currently donated a pint of blood every 12 weeks and wanted to carry on as long as his health would let him.

And while Mr Rees may be one of the oldest donors, it could soon be common place for people in their 70s, 80s or even 90s to be donating blood in the future.

He said: "If my health is OK I want to continue donating blood as long as I can.

"I am hoping to get to the 100-pint mark by next year.

"The Welsh Blood Service is desperate for donations and I would urge anybody who can to go to their nearest branch and give blood.

"I would like to get young people to donate and tell them it is not scary at all.

"People should not be afraid of the needles as they do not hurt.

"Throughout my life I have only been turned down three times because I was cruising to places where Malaria is prevalent.

"Apart from that I have donated every year."

A spokeswoman for the Welsh Blood Service said: "Congratulations to Mr Rees for making his 95th blood donation, a wonderful achievement.

"We are so proud and grateful for the help we receive from our committed and dedicated donors.

"We couldn't supply our hospitals with the vital blood products they need without people like Mr Rees taking the time to help save lives in Wales.

"Each donation is processed into components comprising of red cells, platelets and plasma.

"Therefore, each donation can help save up to three people's lives, which means, Mr Rees has helped to save and improve the lives of hundreds patients in Welsh Hospitals.

"We can't say thank you enough."

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