print

Blood Donation - One For the Records : July 28, 2011

To say John Sheppard gave till it hurt wouldn’t quite be accurate.

“I feel great, yeah that’s the thing you know it doesn’t hurt and you feel good afterwards and it’s just a wonderful experience.”

He is hoping to go where no one has gone before and with this donation set the world record for blood giving. As far as the paperwork extends, he can document 315 pints. That’s almost 40 gallons.

Milestones like this don’t happen overnight. This was 60 years in the making, with John donating on average every 8 weeks.

The message he wanted to share with this public display: the value of a long-term commitment. The amount of blood he gave is estimated to have helped close to a thousand people. Jim Nathan is CEO of Lee Memorial Health System.

“For every pint that one donates, it has the potential of saving up to three lives. There are multiple uses for each pint of blood and we’ve learned how to protect and preserve that blood.”

At 78 years old, John outlasted the phlebotomist who drew his blood for 40 decades before retiring.

“Blood is needed, and until people understand that, we always have a shortage, but John no matter day or night when I’d call him to donate, he’d come,” says phlebotomist Lee Admire.

His potentially record-setting donation is being examined by the editors at Guinness. Regardless of the outcome, John is grateful to have given his life’s blood.

“Life is good and life is valuable and I maybe helped someone somewhere.”