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"I never thought giving blood would save my life"

3 minute read
"I never thought giving blood would save my life"

Published at 6:10am 14th June 2019. (Updated at 6:30am 14th June 2019)

"Save a life, give blood"- the slogan for the blood transfusion service - which six years ago took on a different meaning for a regular Guildford donor.

Chris Stanton was turned away from his 85th session, after a routine check before the blood tranfusion took place found he was anaemic.

He was referred to the Royal Surrey Hospital and given the devastating news that he had stage 2 bowel cancer.

Six years later Chris is now cancer free - and on World Blood Donor Day is encouraging others to donate, and to spread the word about the importance of early diagnosis of bowel cancer:

“I am so glad that I was a blood donor,” Chris said.

“I knew that giving blood saves lives but I never thought it would save my life.” 

Chris had surgery in 2013, which was successful and as a result he did not need radio or chemo therapy.

Last autumn he was delighted to be told that he was cancer free.

Royal Surrey Hospital Medical Director, Dr Marianne Illsley reiiterated the importance of blood donation:

“All hospitals rely on the generosity of blood donors like Chris to ensure that there is the right blood available for patients when they need it.

“I am delighted that we were able to support Chris and that he has had such a good outcome.”

Chris, now 66, is no longer able to give blood since his illness, but he said he is doing what he can to encourage others to donate:

“It’s good to be back to normal but I am disappointed that I can’t give blood.

"I do everything I can to encourage the people around me to give blood.

 "It will save lives and it may be your own.”

The symptoms of bowel cancer can be subtle and do not necessarily make you feel ill, although more than 90 per cent of patients have one of the following:

  • Persistent change in bowel habit
  • Blood in stools
  • Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always brought on by eating.

However, most people with these symptoms will not have bowel cancer.

For information about blood donation go to Give Blood.

For information about bowel cancer go to the NHS.


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