Needham Market: Blood donor makes 160th lifesaving deposit

Patrick Smith makes his 160th whole red blood donation at Needham Market Community Centre. Liz McLeo

Patrick Smith makes his 160th whole red blood donation at Needham Market Community Centre. Liz McLeod takes the blood. - Credit: Archant

When Patrick Smith made his first blood donation in 1972, he was determined to make a lifetime commitment.

Since then the humanities and English teacher, who grew up in Suffolk, has made an average of four deposits every year – even timing his visits to fit the maximum frequency of donations possible.

Yesterday, Mr Smith, who spent his childhood in Wickham Market and went to Suffolk College, made his 160th donation at Needham Market community centre on his way through Suffolk to visit family.

The 63-year-old, who lives in Chingford, was motivated to donate his O-Rh positive blood after his cousin David Reid died from Leakaemia aged just 22 and in his last year training to be a mental health nurse at St Audry’s Hospital, in Melton.

Mr Smith, who made 14 of his first 15 donations in Ipswich, hoped his 160th might inspire others to give blood and save a life. He said: “There is no age limit, so I plan to donate until I drop dead.


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“When my cousin died I was young and kept asking why he couldn’t be saved. He was the captain of the hospital football team and otherwise at the peak of health. I always think of him when I donate and know that giving blood can be used to save lives.”

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