We are all about helping people… and so are our staff. Head porter Nick Walker has begun donating platelets to help people with cancer.
Nick, from Humberston, has been donating blood for more than 10 years now. In 2019 he caught Covid-19, and a blood test revealed he has coronavirus antibodies present in his blood.
NHS Blood and Transplant gave him a call and asked if he’d consider donating life-saving platelets… and he didn’t hesitate in saying yes.
“I travel to Scunthorpe once a month, and it takes about an hour and 10 minutes,” he explained. “You sit on this machine, have two needles inserted, and the machine takes the blood out, spins it and removes the platelets, and then feeds your blood back into your body.
“It’s an amazing process to watch, it really is. You can do this as often as you like, and there are no side effects. I’ve just completed my sixth donation.”
Platelets help to stop bleeding and can be a lifeline for people undergoing cancer treatment – they can help avoid blood loss during chemotherapy. They also help people who’ve had surgery or with medical conditions, people in intensive care, and babies.
Platelets last just seven days after they’ve been donated, so it’s important that people donate throughout the year. One donation can help up to three adults and 12 children.
Nick is just one of 10,000 active platelet donors in England. You’ll remember him for being in St Hugh’s news in April for passing a professional certificate occupational in health and safety. He’s worked at the hospital for seven years now, after a successful 32-year career in the fire service. In fact, he’s a familiar face all-round!
Now the sunny weather is here, he’s enjoying getting out on the road – on cycle or motorcycle, spending time on the allotment and, of course, booking in his monthly platelet appointment.
“I get such a buzz from knowing I am helping people less fortunate,” he said. “It’s brilliant because it’s such a practical thing to be able to do. I’d definitely encourage people to donate platelets if they can – it really does make a difference to people’s lives.”
You may be able to give platelets if you have the right blood type, a high enough platelet count, and giving platelets fits into your life. There are some physical criteria and time commitments needed to be a platelet donor. This may not suit everyone or every lifestyle.
Nick goes that extra mile… who do you know in your community who does the same? We’ve teamed up with Lincs FM to bring you the Community Awards 2021, shining the spotlight on all the great things going on where we live.
There are five categories to nominate in: Volunteer of the Year; Fundraiser of the Year; Team of the Year; Carer of the Year; and Unsung Hero. The closing date is July 4.