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R.Vincent Norman

Norman's Story

Otago

Dunedin man reaches milestone 100 blood donations

Dunedin man Norman recently reached his 100th blood donation milestone, and he isn’t showing signs of stopping any time soon. It has been fifty five years since his first donation, making this Kiwi one of New Zealand’s longest-standing whole blood donors.

The 73-year old is modest of his recent achievement. Norman’s 100 blood donations equate to approximately 50 litres of whole blood or the entire volume of his body’s blood roughly 10 times over. And, with a single blood donation saving the lives of three people, Norman’s donations alone could have saved 300.

“If you can donate, you should,” Norman says. “It’s a good cause and we shouldn’t take it for granted. You never know when you might need blood yourself.”

Things were a lot different in the 1960s when Norman first started donating. A fresh-faced eighteen-year old, and apprentice fitter working on the railways, he went along with some of the guys from work to give whole blood for the first time.

“A lot of the apprentices went to donate because it got you a few hours off work,” chuckles Norman. “We always tried to get an appointment on Friday afternoons; there was a race to be first in line so we could have the rest of the afternoon to ourselves.”

Norman remembers donating at the hospital to begin with, before New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) was established in 1998 and the Dunedin Blood Donor Centre was built.

Donating blood several times a year, Norman admits the reminder phone calls, ease of donating and friendly nurses at NZBS keep him coming back. He says it is far easier to donate than it was 50 years ago.

“If you are worried about donating blood being a hassle; you shouldn’t be” says Norman. “It’s quick and easy, and the people are really friendly making the whole experience a breeze.”

Norman intends to carry on donating blood for as long as he is able. After that, he will continue to encourage others to join the register and help save the lives of thousands of Kiwis.

To find out more about how to become a blood donor like Norman to help save lives, click here or call 0800 GIVE BLOOD.