JOHN'S BLOOD BANK: John Hegvold will make his 198th and last blood donation on Thursday.
JOHN'S BLOOD BANK: John Hegvold will make his 198th and last blood donation on Thursday. Chris Ison ROK050218cblood1

Meet the Rocky man saving lives for 50 years

JOHN Hegvold has been saving lives for the past 50 years.

The Rockhampton man first became a blood donor in 1968 at the city's hospital.

Now he will give his final blood donation on Thursday, but said if he was given the chance, he'd continue to donate.

"This will be my last donation since they cannot be made after your 81st birthday, and I will turn 81 four days after this donation on February 12,” Mr Hegvold said.

It will also mark 50 years since he became a blood donor, and will have made 198 donations of whole blood.

"Not only does donating blood have a number of health benefits for the donor, but I believe this to be one of the best community service projects anyone can undertake and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all concerned,” Mr Hegvold said.

It all started when Mr Hegvold attended a trade function at "the old municipal theatre” in Rockhampton where the Red Cross had a stall.

Mr Hegvold said one of the stall keepers asked him if he was interested in donating blood.

"I hadn't actually considered it before, and I said 'yeah certainly, why not?',” he said.

"You do get some return out of it.”

After getting involved in donating blood, Mr Hegvold researched blood and what happened to it after donation.

Donating blood is a cause close to his heart.

"My involvement with the blood service is very important to me because it has got a lot of goodness in one way or another,” Mr Hegvold.

"If I can help somebody, it helps me to do it.”

Mr Hegvold encouraged people who haven't donated blood to give it a try.

BLOOD DONATIONS

There are about 5L of blood in the human body and it's made up of several useful components

You can donate whole blood, plasma or platelets

Each type of blood donation is used for different medical treatments, and your blood type determines the best donation for you to make

One third of blood donations help treat people with cancer

To become a donor, first check your eligibility, request an appointment and then donate.



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