SHARING THE LOVE: Brassall man John Wright has a rare blood type that can be used to help women who have incompatible blood types to their baby’s.
SHARING THE LOVE: Brassall man John Wright has a rare blood type that can be used to help women who have incompatible blood types to their baby’s. Rob Williams

Wright man for the job of special blood donations

BRASSALL man John Wright has a rare blood type that can be used to help pregnant women who have incompatible blood types to their baby's.

Mr Wright has made an impressive 285 donations over 30 years and received an award for his significant contribution as a blood donor during National Blood Donor Week from 27 July to 3 August.

"It's good to be recognised but that's not why you do it," he said. "I'll keep donating for as long as I can."

In such cases of incompatibility, pregnant women are given Anti-D injections which prevent their babies from developing Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn (HDN), which can cause severe anaemia, brain damage or even foetal death.

Mr Wright said he has personally experienced the positive effects blood donation has on recipients. "My sister-in-law had Anti-D injections when she was pregnant with her children," he said.

"It feels good to know I've helped other people by doing something that's easy and virtually painless. By donating blood, I know that I can change someone's life."

Interestingly, the dedicated donor has not always had Anti-D in his blood. Mr Wright volunteered for the Anti-D program in 2005, a program which requires him to have injections of small amounts of Rh positive blood every three to six months in order to boost the level of Anti-D in his blood.

He is one of only 200 blood donors in Australia on the Blood Service's Anti-D program.

Blood Service spokesperson Bernadette Dias said Mr Wright's life-saving donations have helped thousands of women have healthy babies. "A donation of blood also has a ripple effect, from the person receiving the blood or blood products, right through to their entire family and their friends," she said.

"The Anti-D enables a person to have children. When I see my sister-in-law's two little girls, that's extra motivation to donate," Mr Wright said. "I'd encourage everyone that can to donate because a lot of people can't."

There are many appointments to fill in the next two weeks at Ipswich Blood Donor Centre in Riverlink Shopping Centre. To book, call 13 14 95 or visit donateblood.com.au



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