Patrick Smith gave blood for the first time on his 17th birthday, and continued to give blood regularly, even after moving across the country to study chemical engineering at Edinburgh University. He was passionate about blood donation, and strongly encouraged his friends and family to follow in his footsteps.
Patrick’s future was bright, he had a wide circle of friends and was due to complete his masters degree. Unfortunately, this future was cut short when Patrick passed away unexpectedly in a tragic accident in September 2019. He was only 21 years old.
Understandably, due to the sudden nature of his passing, Patrick’s loved ones were devastated at the loss of their beloved ‘Patzo.’ However, they were keen to do something positive to honour Patrick’s memory and decided to turn their grief into action. A keen swimmer, Patrick was a member of Edinburgh University Swimming and Water Polo Club (EUSWPC). EUSWPC President Marissa Lam, contacted the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) to ask how we could work together.
‘Patrick and his sister Hanna were both really into giving blood, so the EUSWPC committee were keen to set up a blood drive as a tribute to him,’ said Marissa.
‘Patrick was friendly with everyone and we knew lots of people would be happy to be involved. An event led by EUSWPC, which all of Edinburgh University’s sports clubs could take part in, was a positive way to remember Patrick.’
The date for Patrick’s blood drive was set; a weeklong event from Monday 18 to Saturday 23 November 2019, where both existing and new donors could give blood in memory of Patrick.
Hanna Smith, Patrick’s sister explains more;
‘When Marissa got in touch about doing a blood drive, I thought it was a brilliant idea as I knew so many friends and family would want to get involved. As numbers grew, Martha and I decided we wanted to set up the awareness campaign 'Give Blood 4 Good'. Very few young adults donate blood and we want to change that.’
The blood drive was a complete success. Over the course of the week 187 donors were welcomed in locations all over the world, including; Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Ayr, Airdrie, Newcastle, Leeds, Hull, London, Cambridge, Texas and even New Zealand. In Edinburgh Donor Centre during that week, over 90 donors rolled up their sleeves and gave their life-saving donation.
Interest in Give Blood 4 Good’s campaign remains high, and donations are still continuing to roll in at blood donor sessions everywhere.
‘The response we have received from the Give Blood 4 Good supporters has been simply amazing,’ said Gillian Morrison, Donor Recruitment Officer, SNBTS.
‘The success of the campaign and resulting blood drive is purely through the hard work and commitment of Hanna, and Patrick’s loved ones. It’s clear that he was an important person in many people’s lives, and the number of people giving blood in his memory is testament to this. Thank you to everyone who has supported Give Blood 4 Good and blood donation all over the world.’