Road racing’s medical volunteers have led from the front by donating blood in memory of the late Dr John Hinds.
Dr Hinds – who was known as the ‘flying doctor’ - lost his life when his motorcycle crashed at the Skerries race meeting near Dublin earlier this month.
The specialist trauma consultant knew more than most of the importance of blood donation, and his colleagues in the Motorcycle Union of Ireland (MCUI) Medical Team have been promoting the #oneforhinds message on social media to raise awareness.
Road racing fans have responded in large numbers and have been sending pictures of themselves donating to the team’s Facebook page.
Dr Nigel Ruddell said: “We have been overwhelmed with the public support for doing something positive in the wake of John’s loss and right now, donating blood is a very personal and appropriate way for anyone to continue his good work.
“Even if someone can’t donate themselves they can always encourage others to do so, and now our colleagues in the Southern Medical Team are also promoting the campaign south of the border.”
MCUI paramedic Caroline Bowles said the team – who are all full-time paramedics or trauma doctors – see first hand the need for emergency blood transfusions.
“This is our way of encouraging everyone who can to do their bit to save a life. By simply texting BLOOD to 60081 you can enrol to donate today, but we really need people to become regular donors.”
Further information is available from NI Blood Transfusion Service at www.nibts.org or by phoning 0500 534 666. In the Republic the information is available at www.giveblood.ie or Locall 1850 731 137.
The MCUI team is also continuing the work of Dr Hinds in campaigning for a dedicated helicopter air ambulance service for Northern Ireland.
They say the loss of his “unique talent” is a blow as he would have been the obvious choice to lead the airborne team once established.
Commenting on the contribution of Dr Hinds to the MCUI, Dr Ruddell said: “John was an inspiration to all of the team as it was clear from an early stage he was very, very brilliant.”
Dr Hinds former partner in motorcycle medical support, Dr Fred MacSorley, said: “John was truly unique and that is why he is such a loss. He was very eloquent, he did his research, he was extremely knowledgeable...and he had a lot of international backing.
Dr MacSorley added: “I miss him hugely. It’s taking me a while to get my head around all this.”