AN INSPIRATIONAL man is thought to be among the highest whole blood donors in the country after giving blood for the 151st time.

Derek Parsons has a rare and universal blood type - O rhesus negative - which means his blood can be used to save men, women and children of all types.

The Woodley grandfather started contributing when he joined the Army, although he continues to donate after his grandson was born prematurely.

He said: "My grandson was born 13 weeks prematurely and he needed a blood transfusion. He had major surgery when he was just 10 days old.

"Someone out there saved his life and that is what has motivated me to keep going. I have the gift of blood and I want to be able to give it away.

"It is special to be able to say that my blood has helped so many young people like Oliver. We have a special bond.

"Giving blood motivates me to help others and it gives me a reason to stay healthy."

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The 70-year-old has been told he is in a coveted group and he is thought to have saved as many as 1,500 lives since he started giving blood in 1965.

As well as being a registered organ donor, Mr Parsons has raised more than £50,000 for charity by taking part in a number of marathons.

He also works part-time at Pembroke Care Home as a gardener to keep active.

He added: "I would not want to upset anybody by claiming to have donated the most whole blood, but people regularly tell me they have never seen anyone do what I do.

"I have been told I have donated the equivalent to 18 human bodies.

"It does not matter whether you give one pint or you give 150. Every pint is precious, so I would encourage everyone who is fit and healthy to take part.

"As long as I keep healthy I will keep going. If I try to reach my 200th donation I will be 86, as you are only allowed to give blood once every four months."

Visit: to find out if you are eligible to donate.