TOP DROP: Margaret Zerner, Roy Jones and Kim Tobias from the Gladstone Blood Service doing their part to increase the donors.
TOP DROP: Margaret Zerner, Roy Jones and Kim Tobias from the Gladstone Blood Service doing their part to increase the donors. Rosie Obrien

Man gives life-saving blood for 51 years

GLADSTONE man Roy Jones has given blood and plasma for 51 years so he might help save  lives.

Mr Jones started donating blood when he was 18 and in the New Zealand Army, and given the option of either looking for dead bodies or giving blood.

He officially became an Australian Red Cross volunteer in 1982 and since then has accumulated an incredible 162 donations.

"I started volunteering with my wife back in the day when there was only one doctor and we had to administer the needles," he said.

"Nowadays I just pack the boxes of blood to send down to Brisbane, but I guess my role is still important."

And so is the job of the 30-odd donors the Gladstone blood service sees each day.

"I actually donated this morning," Mr Jones said.

"It's easy, doesn't hurt a bit and helps three people each go," he said.

Margaret Zerner is also a long-standing volunteer.

"I've been here for 13 years after I retired from working at (the) base hospital here," Mrs Zerner said.

"My role is to look after the donors and ensure their well-being," she said.

Loyal donors keep Gladstone stocks going

ABOUT 30-40 Gladstone residents are keeping the local blood stock on target.

"We have an incredibly loyal donor base and as a result our retention rate is really good," Gladstone blood bank manager Kerry Myers said.

"A lot of people are willingly to re-book and make it a regular occurrence."

While donating habits have improved, she said, December and January were "a critical time of the year".

"(There are) more road accidents, trauma patients and regular blood suppliers out of town and unable to donate," she said.

BY THE NUMBERS:

  • There are just under 504,000 voluntary unpaid donors in Australia
  • Last year the Blood Service collected 1.32 million lifesaving blood donations
  • Every week Australia needs more than 27,000 blood donations


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