Giving blood and working at the IBTS
I first came to work in the Blood Bank in February 1963 straight out of school.
In June 1963 (the day President Kennedy visited Dublin) I gave my first donation.
I was terrified about giving blood as I thought I would feel the blood draining out of me. I was so surprised I never felt a thing. It was a great experience.
When I went home that night I couldn't stop talking about donating blood. I even persuaded my brothers and later my friends to give blood. I got so used to giving blood that I decided to go on the Plasma programme in the late '80's. Giving plasma took longer than the blood donation. In the early '90's I moved on to the platelet programme. I have a rare blood group and I was called on to give platelets for a lady of the same group. Along with other donors we were donating platelets every week for this lady. We don't usually hear how the patient is but on this occasion we heard that the patient made a full recovery. It gave me a great sense of achievement. It was the first time I really felt that I had actually helped to save a life.
I have given a grand total of 119 donations (blood, plasma and platelets). I have received all my awards and met a few of the Presidents of Ireland and even the President of America (after my first donation).