Rhys Owens is a regular blood donor at Ipswich.
Rhys Owens is a regular blood donor at Ipswich.

Hospital staffer makes habit of saving lives

WEST Moreton Health employee Rhys Owens is not afraid to roll up the sleeves to save lives.

The Hotel Services supervisor is among Ipswich’s volunteer blood donors, giving his time and his blood every fortnight.

The 30-year-old is among the volunteer blood donors being celebrated this week for National Blood Donor Week.

He has given blood on 194 occasions, which means his blood has helped save up to 582 lives.

He continues a proud family tradition, started by his mum, the late Hilary Owens, who also worked at Ipswich Hospital as a nurse in the rehabilitation and palliative care wards.

“My mum donated blood for about 40 years. She started when she was 16, the same age as me, and she was the one that got me and my brothers and my dad into donating blood too,’’ Mr Owens said.

“She was a nurse and wanted to do right by her community.

“Mum is no longer with us so now we donate blood to honour her memory.’’

The father-of-two said he hoped his children would follow his lead.

Mr Owens’ brother Chris, who also works for West Moreton Health, is another regular donor.

Mr Owens urged anyone in the community who had ever considered donating to make an appointment.

“Every now and then I’ll get a text message from the Red Cross telling you that your blood has saved the life of someone in Bundaberg, because it is has the traceability – it’s pretty amazing really because you are literally saving lives and not everyone can do that,” he said.

For more information on how to donate blood, visit donateblood.com.au.