Man’s forty years of blood donations

by Rachel Cunningham
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A Ballyfermot native has been recognised for his commitment to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) over nearly 40 years, writes Rachel Cunningham.

Anthony O’Brien (64) was thanked by the service, who reported that he has made a significant 170 blood and platelet donations between 1974 and 2013.

The Estates Fire Officer at Tallaght Hospital gave his first donation in a Ballyfermot clinic at just 17 years of age and discovered that there was a demand for his blood type, especially for platelets, which go to cancer treatment patients with the corresponding type.

Mr O’Brien, who was previously awarded a porcelain pelican to mark his 100th donation, was forced to halt his donations following a diagnosis of osteopenia in 2013.

He received an appeal for type A donors from IBTS at the end of 2021 but was told that he could not donate because of his recent triple bypass. During this call, the IBTS employee expressed shock at the generous number of donations he had given over the years.

A letter of appreciation for his service was then sent to Mr O’Brien on January 6, from Stephen Cousins, National Donor Services Manager, at the IBTS.

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