CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - Binion Williams first donated blood in 1961 when he was in the Navy.
“I started because we got 4 hours, they called it vampire leave, you got 4 hours off,” Williams said.
After serving our country for 36 years, the 77-year-old is still giving back.
On Tuesday, he hit an impressive milestone. He’s now among less than two dozen people who have given 125 gallons or more of blood in Florida since blood banking began during World War II.
To recognize his years of dedication – a special surprise.
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Debbie Currin had an emergency c-section in 1987. Her liver and kidneys shut down and her blood wouldn’t clot -- until a life-saving platelet donation.
OneBlood called in two men who were thought to be good matches.
Williams said he remembers getting calls that year to come in for donations, but they’re not sure if it was his platelets that saved her life.
Regardless, Currin says without donations like his, she wouldn't have been able to watch her children and grandchildren grow up.
“I just wanted him to know I’m thankful for what he does on a regular basis and because of what he does, it saved my life,” Currin said.
OneBlood says donations slow during the summer because high school students -- a main source of donations -- are on break.
They say the need doesn't lessen with the influx of vacationers.
“It could be somebody that was in an automobile accident that needed blood, might be a friend of yours that needed blood, might be a neighbor, a family member,” Williams said.
Now Williams is encouraging others to help save lives like Currin’s.
“Everybody that does give blood is a hero, they are an unsung hero because they're helping somebody,” he said.
He said he does have two pieces of advice for donors that he learned from experience.
"There are two things you really don't want to do after you donate. One is skydive because it’ll give you a headache outside this world and another is scuba dive," he said.
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