The Walcha community was in the spotlight again this week with media reports on two local women who share a blood bond.
Woolbrook resident, and Walcha Golf Club stalwart, Lorraine Rennie was recognised in Tamworth on Saturday at the Tamworth Blood Bank’s ‘Bloody Legends’ event as part of National Blood Donor Week.
Over the years Mrs Rennie has donated blood on more than 350 occasions making her the record-breaking donor out of 2,400 local people who have donated more than 50 times.
Walcha mum Chloe Hoy was on hand at Saturday’s celebration to speak with the audience about the significance of their donations.
At 21, Ms Hoy was ready to deliver her first baby, but complications saw her head to intensive care at Armidale hospital. After losing blood during labour and contracting septicemia from a retained placenta, she needed four blood transfusions.
Since the ordeal, the young mother has pledged to give back where and when she can and has become a regular blood donor.
“It was really scary, I was only 21 at the time,” she said. “I lived in Walcha so I was in Armidale hospital, and there was no immediate family.”
Mrs Rennie told local media she found donating blood was something she could frequently do that saved lives every single time.
“Your blood is replaced after 48 hours, and you’re back to square one,” she said.
“It doesn’t do you any harm.”
The Red Cross estimate that since she started donating 50 years ago, Mrs Rennie has saved more than 1,100 lives.
And at 74 years of age Mrs Rennie has no plans to stop – she says she wants to keep donating and crack the 500 donations mark before she has to stop at 81-years-old.
Unfortunately, we are not all as altruistic as Mrs Rennie and the other ‘Bloody Legends’ – across Australia, the Red Cross is constantly seeking donors.
The Tamworth blood bank has 100 appointments it needs to fill between now and the end of September, with a particular need for O-negative donors.