Lum makes final blood donation at 70 for 356th time (Poll Inside)

KUALA LUMPUR: Retired teacher Lum Kien Seng went to donate blood for the 356th time last week, and the final one for he can no longer do so due to his age. He is now 70 years old.

Lum, now aged 70, said he felt proud to be able to help save the lives of many people through his blood donation for the past 34 years.

"If possible, I want to continue to donate my blood, but sad to say, I have reached the maximum age. So, I’ll just relax at home, and spend the time listening to music and doing some gardening.

"I encourage those who are healthy to be blood donors. Don't be afraid of the needle, it feels just like an ant bite," he told Bernama.

Lum said he started donating blood in 1988 when he was 36 years old.

"It was because of my late father, Lum Yong Swee, who was injured then and in need of a blood transfusion,” he added.

Since then, Lum said, it became a routine for him to donate blood and regarded it as a social responsibility.

"My father also had heart ailments and high blood pressure and needed to take blood thinners. One day, he was injured and suffered blood loss. He needed two bags of blood. It was then I realised that I can help save people’s life by donating blood,” said Lum, who was also an apheresis donor since 2000.

A graduate of Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (now Universiti Putra Malaysia), Lum said he attributed his good health to being a blood and apheresis donor, apart from living a healthy lifestyle.

"To be a blood donor, a person needs to be healthy and most importantly must get enough sleep, of at least five hours.

"I’m also a very health-conscious person. I take care of my diet, and do light exercise regularly, like going for walks, and avoid taking alcoholic drinks, as well as do not smoke,” he said.

Lum, the fourth of six siblings, said he had to undergo regular health check-ups such as X-ray scans, electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood tests to enable him to continue to be a blood donor at the age of 50.

"I am grateful to be blessed with good health and I do not experience any problems every time I donate blood. I feel healthy after that," said Lum, who lives in Taman Bukit Maluri, Kepong.

Meanwhile, the staff of the National Blood Centre held a celebration when Lum went to donate blood for the last time last on Dec 2 to thank him for his sacrifice in carrying out his social responsibility without expecting anything in return. - Bernama

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