Elgin blood donor William McCook began donating when he was just nineteen – and at 72 has reached the grand total of 250 donations.
William gives blood at Aberdeen Blood Donor Centre. He remembers, ‘I became a blood donor when my mother was ill and a doctor asked if I’d ever considered giving blood and I’m so glad I did. After donating my first 100 pints I received a letter from the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service telling me my donations had been used to help 300 people, as each pint can be used for up to three patients. In over 50 years as a donor, I’ve not only given blood but also platelets, which are often used in infant medicine.’
On his 70th birthday, William actually retired from giving blood. However, when the pandemic hit he wanted to do his bit. Because he was within two years of his last donation, he was still eligible to give blood. At the age of 71 William McCook rolled up his sleeve again to help patients across Scotland.
Who remembers the ‘three times promise’?
Over the years, William has collected a number of awards and memorabilia. One that crops up in his collection is the ‘three times promise.’ This campaign involved asking blood donors to pledge to give blood three times a year. However, over the years, blood collection has become more sophisticated. Innovations like keyhole surgery and working with hospitals to pre-plan use of blood means that we no longer need donors to make the three times promise.
Today, we ask donors to look at blood stocks to see if their blood group is needed. We encourage all donors to find out more about blood types and look at our daily blood stocks.
If you’ve been inspired by William to give blood or platelets you can book an appointment by creating your online donor account at scotblood.co.uk, contacting us online, or phone us on 0345 90 90 999 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).
Current blood stock levels across Scotland Saturday 28 May