Lifesaving in the blood for Dwight
FIREFIGHTER Dwight Williams not only saves lives in the course of duty but also as a regular blood donor and campaigner for the cause. With blood stocks in decline, the 29-year-old has jumped on board the National Blood Service s (NBS) campaign to encoura
FIREFIGHTER Dwight Williams not only saves lives in the course of duty but also as a regular blood donor and campaigner for the cause.
With blood stocks in decline, the 29-year-old has jumped on board the National Blood Service's (NBS) campaign to encourage more people to give blood in the run up to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
Dwight, who works at St Albans Fire Station, has been giving blood for the past 18 months after a crash to which he was called prompted his first donation.
He recalls: "It was a particularly gory night at work. There had been a traffic collision and there was a lot of blood. On my way home the next morning I happened to pass by a mobile blood donor unit. With the night's accident still fresh in my head, I decided to give my first pint."
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Dwight, who lives in Hemel Hempstead, has since given six units of his A-positive blood and is also on the British Bone Marrow Registry.
Only four per cent of the UK population who can donate blood actually do and only three per cent of these are from a black or Asian background.
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That's just 200 donations from the Black and Minority Ethnicity (BME) communities a month and the NBS wants more people to come forward.
Certain blood types are more common among these groups and cases of thalassaemia and sickle cell anaemia, which require blood transfusions, are more prevalent.
With his awareness of the situation, Dwight is actively promoting the cause among family and friends and has even has a NBS banner sitting on his Facebook profile. He said: "It doesn't take long to do and can make a massive difference to someone's life."
A spokesperson for the NBS said: "We are privileged to count someone like Dwight on our list of donors. He is a lifesaver in so many ways - firefighter, blood donor and an active spokesperson for our cause. Anyone could be a fraction of the lifesaver that he is. Just an hour of your time is all it takes to save the lives of up to three people.