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franklin county times

Blood donor nears 30-gallon mark

By Staff
LIFESAVER The blood Meridian resident Jerry Mack Slayton has donated would almost fill six of Mississippi Beverage Company's five-gallon water bottles. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Oct. 25, 2001
Jerry Mack Slayton, 57, of Meridian, has never had a transfusion but he has supplied the blood for many.
Just six pints shy of donating 30 gallons of blood since he was 18 years old, Slayton intends to donate again at United Blood Services in Meridian as soon as he is able.
Slayton wears a baseball cap laden with heart-shaped pins he has received for each gallon of blood he has donated. His blood type matches his attitude B-positive and he said giving blood makes him feel better physically and mentally.
His first donations
Slayton said he first began giving blood as a young man to get spending money, $25 a pint.
Donors are not paid for blood anymore, but Slayton still gives.
A construction worker for many years, Slayton had a disabling injury in 1982 when he fell from a scaffold. He has had more than 20 surgeries on his legs, back, head and wrists, but said none of the operations required a transfusion.
After his accident, Slayton said he was saved. Already a regular blood donor, he said he began giving more often from that point.
Local blood drive
Regular blood donors like Slayton are important. He is encouraging everyone to donate blood next week during a blood drive sponsored by Rush Foundation Hospital. The blood drive will be Monday and Tuesday, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., in The Specialty Hospital of Meridian's classrooms.
Donors will receive free T-shirts and pizza coupons, and door prizes will be awarded.
When the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred, thousands came forth nationwide to give blood, but any platelets and red blood cells donated that were not used have expired by now. Only frozen plasma is still available from those donations.
Denham said testing to ensure the safety of donations takes 48 to 72 hours.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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