Retired engineer Kwan Sek-yiu celebrated his 70th birthday with his 190th blood donation, setting a record for the number of blood donations in Hong Kong.
Mr. Kwan Sek-yiu first understood the importance of blood donation when he was in middle school, through a presentation by the Hong Kong Red Cross Society.
“It was the first time I understood how donating blood can save lives,” he said on World Blood Donor Day 2022 today.
Mr. Kwan first donated blood in 1972, when he was 20 years old. At the blood donation center that day, he met the old principal again and learned that he had donated blood more than 50 times.
“That inspired me to become a regular blood donor,” he said.
Since then, Kwan Sek-yiu has been donating blood every 75 days, except when feeling unwell, having to leave Hong Kong or preparing to participate in a major sporting event.
He has donated blood a total of 190 times over the past 50 years and said he will continue to do so to help the community. The old school motto “always ready to serve” never disappeared from his mind.
Dr. Lee Cheuk-Kwong, executive director of the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service. said the Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected the blood supply of the special zone. At its worst, the Red Cross received only 200-300 units of blood per day.
Health experts say blood donors can donate a unit of blood once and every two months. Donating blood not only saves lives, it can also help control high blood pressure for the donor.
“The process is painless,” Kwan said, adding that it doesn’t affect the donor’s health. He still runs 12 kilometers and walks 3-4 times a week.
“I’ve been donating blood for 50 years and I’m still perfectly healthy,” he said.
Despite being 70 years old, he is still a healthy person and loves sports. “I’ve had 50 years of swimming, 45 years of running a marathon and completing the 100 km of the Oxfam Trailwalker 25 times,” he said.
James Harrison, an Australian, is said to be the world’s largest blood donor and is nicknamed “the man with the golden arm”. His blood is very precious because it contains the rare antigen Anti-D, which is used to transfuse mothers with blood types that put the fetus at risk. By the time he stopped donating at the age of 81, Harrison had donated more than 1,100 times, helping to change the lives of about 3 million Australians.
Thanh Tam (Theo SCMP)