When Gemma's father David Rundell found out he could no longer give blood, he was disappointed to fall short of a personal target of 100 donations. However, Gemma came up with a cunning plan to make David's wish come true.
Edinburgh based Gemma said, 'Dad made it to his 98th donation but then sadly had an accident which delayed his ability to donate. Coronavirus struck and combined with him being over 70, he's no longer able to give blood.' Gemma continues, 'Dad's always done it for the greater good and by no means the number, but it was just so frustrating for him to fall short of his goal of 100 donations'.
So, unknown to David, Gemma devised a plan to recruit 'surrogate' David Rundells - using a worldwide search on social media. To her delight a David Rundell from Australia replied and accepted.
I wanted to fulfil a lifelong goal for someone who's obviously a very giving person.
David Rundell, NSW, Austrailia
Gemma arranged for Australian David Rundell to make two donations on her Dad's behalf. The New South Wales resident told us, 'I decided to help because I wanted to fulfil a lifelong goal for someone who's obviously a very giving person. The fact we shared a name is a real bonus.'
The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service were delighted to honour the extraordinary effort made by David and his daughter to help him reach his goal of 100 blood donations. On Christmas day Gemma surprised her Dad by presenting him with a 100 donation award and the tale of the Australian David Rundell. 'I couldn't wait to share all this with my Dad. It's really the best thing to come out of 2020!'
David was gobsmacked. 'Thank you very much SNBTS for your support and generosity. I will proudly wear your 100 Donations badge and display the Quaich on my shelf. I am so happy and proud to have them, and to have contributed to your service and helped patients over the years. Thanks Gemma for such a lovely surprise Christmas present. How very clever to come up with such a cunning plan, and to keep it secret so well and for so long.'
It really doesn't hurt at all. Just remember to look at the ceiling, especially if it is a nice one
David Rundell, Edinburgh
David has been a dedicated blood donor for some time. He continued 'I'm very fortunate in that I have always been fit and healthy, at least, until very recently. I simply wanted to help those less fortunate than me. I started giving blood back in 1978 when a mobile unit came to my workplace. I was nervous as I have always been quite queasy about needles and the sight of blood. I immediately found that the trick was to look at the ceiling or out of the window. I have particularly fond memories of staring at some of the more ornate ceilings of Edinburgh when I had the opportunity to donate at Merchants Hall and McEwen Hall. I was able to study the beautiful ornate plasterwork in great detail from a near horizontal position.
'I have encouraged my daughters to donate whenever they can and I am hope my grandchildren will take up the habit when they are old enough. It really doesn't hurt at all. Just remember to look at the ceiling, especially if it is a nice one. It is really worthwhile.'
It can be disappointing to discover you can’t give blood however that doesn't mean you can't still help us by spreading the word and, like Gemma, encourage others to give on your behalf.