Santa gives the best festive gift... blood

ARRAN MORTONSound Telegraph

Father Christmas paid a visit to Rockingham Donor Centre last week to deliver lollies, cheer and 800ml of much-needed plasma.

Regular donator Bruce Zilm, who traditionally dons the homemade, traditional garments of St Nick for his last donation before Christmas, popped into the Benjamin Way centre for his 485th donation on Thursday — earning him the title of Rockingham’s top donator and placing him in the top 10 in the State.

The grandfather-of-five said he became a donor in his home State of South Australia in 1961 and had never looked back — now making the 45-minute journey from his home in Pinjarra to Rockingham each fortnight to ensure he does his bit for the greater good.

Mr Zilm said his life revolved around the life-saving donations and had developed a great relationship with the friendly staff at the Rockingham Donor Centre.

“I just want to make as many donations as I can to make sure I do my bit to help other people,” he said.

“I try hard to never miss my fortnightly donation and regularly get up at 5am to make the journey to Rockingham.”

Australian Red Cross Blood Service spokeswoman Jessica Willet said plasma taken from Mr Zilm’s O-positive blood was vital for use in hospitals because 40 per cent of Australians were in the same blood group.

Ms Willet said regular, big-hearted donors like Mr Zilm could donate plasma every two weeks, and whole blood every three months, allowing enough time for the body to rebuild its iron levels.

“Every donation helps to save as many as three lives, and Christmas is the perfect time to give back to the community,” she said.

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