A selfless retired teacher has become the first donor in Greater Manchester to have given blood and platelets 1,000 times.
Patrick Herman, 68, from Audenshaw is one of 20 people to hit the milestone across England and North Wales.
The dedicated lifesaver was a regular blood donor from 1962 but then moved on to donating platelets in 1986.
The generous pensioner said: “It was a teacher at school who inspired me to donate, I remember him talking about the NHS and how we shouldn’t misuse it and should help others when we can.
“As soon as I was 18 I went to give blood.”
A special event was held at Manchester Blood Centre to celebrate the extraordinary achievement.
Those present included the Oldfield family – six-year-old Phoebe who has received many blood and platelet transfusions.
The family, who live in Stoke, wanted to personally thank Patrick for his on-going commitment and highlight how important donors like him are.
Mr Oldfield, 45, said: “It meant so much to us as parents when Phoebe was able to have blood and platelet transfusions, you could see the life coming back into her.
“Without donors we wouldn’t still have her here. Patrick’s achievement is absolutely monumental.”
In a bid to try and encourage more people to give blood Manchester City Council has joined up with NHS Blood and Transplant.
Hospitals in England and North Wales need around 7,000 units of blood every day to treat patients so it’s vital to get as many donors as possible.
It is hoped that the new partnership and Patrick’s dedication will encourage more people to become blood and platelet donors.
Mr Herman said: “To be honest, hitting 1,000 donations is just another step – it’s something I’ve done and hoped to reach. I’ll keep going as long as I can.”
With this remarkable achievement occurring in Manchester, it is hoped that fellow Mancunians will be inspired and will follow in the footsteps of Patrick.
Barbara Blanche, lead donor relations manager for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Patrick’s commitment to saving lives is amazing and we want to thank him on behalf of all the patients that he has helped.
“It’s inspirational to meet someone so dedicated to donation and we hope others will follow his example.”
Anyone aged 17 – 65, weighing more than 50 kg and in general good health could potentially start saving lives by becoming a blood donor.
For more information or to book an appointment call the Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.blood.co.uk