GALLIPOLIS — A Gallipolis man donated his 22nd gallon of blood to the American Red Cross for use in medical emergencies and study at St. Peters Episcopal Church at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.
Guy Guinther, 82, has been donating blood since his mid-teens according to his estimate. He is a retired Kroger Company District Meat Supervisor.
“I guess the first time I donated was when I was 15 or 16 years old,” Guinther said. “I lived up at Syracuse at that time. There was this fella and his dad was in the hospital and his dad used a lot of blood. He used to come by the gas station to get volunteers. So we kids would go up there to give blood. It was the first time I gave blood.”
Guinther’s blood type is O positive. O positive is the most common blood type and therefore one of the most needed by hospitals and emergency healthcare providers. According to him, he has been placed on call lists for contact when healthcare providers were in need of an individual to donate on short notice.
According to Guinther, the American Red Cross occasionally tells Guinther where his blood has been taken and used.
“I appreciate them telling me,” he said. “Sometimes it’s used for people or other times labs. You just wonder maybe how many people’s lives you’ve saved. You never know. I don’t know if I’d really want to know but it would be nice to know that I helped somebody. If you sit and think about it, which I’ve been doing a lot recently, I might give a pint of blood that saved somebody’s life, Christ gave a lot of blood to save mine.”
Guinther said he wishes to encourage more people to give blood. He said he has never needed to have blood donated to him but that he knows there are always individuals who need blood.
“It might take you thirty or 45 minutes to give blood,” Guinther said. “It’s not hard to give somebody something that might save them.”
The average human adult has ten pints of blood. 22 gallons of blood equates to 176 pints of blood. That equates to roughly 17.6 full human bodies. Medical professionals say that individuals must wait eight weeks before donating blood again. Some ask for 16 weeks if the individual donating has done a double red blood cell donation.
For more details on how to donate blood, visit www.redcross.org.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.