Dothan man hits lifesaving milestone

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) Gregg Turnbull man is spending his Valentine’s Day giving love to people he may never even know.

Gregg Turnbull spent Valentine’s Day giving love to people he may never even know. (Source: WTVY)

In fact, he spent Friday saving lives through donations to LifeSouth.

“I have really good veins so it's easy to hit,” says 76-year-old platelet donor Gregg Turnbull.

Not only does he have good veins, but he's also got a good heart.

His donations save the lives of cancer patients and premature babies.

“They can't live without them. They say when someone gets a transfusion. It's like watching them be brought back to life almost like instantly,” says LifeSouth’s supervisor Candice Johnson.

Gregg made his first donation in 1962 while he was at basic training.

He now visits the blood bank as often as he is allowed.

The needle going into his arm Friday morning was for his 500th blood platelet donation.

“Gregg is one of our most dedicated donors. He comes in every two weeks to do platelets. We never have to call him to ask him to donate. He just comes in and he wants to do it,” says Johnson.

Unlike whole blood donations that take 30 minutes and good for 42 days platelet donations can take up to an hour and a half to complete and are only good for five days.

But at the price of just a little time and lives on the line, it's a cause that makes it easy for Gregg to commit to.

“It's just a wonderful way to serve your fellow man. Our biggest desire is to populate heaven. That's what God wants to do and if we get an opportunity to help people stay alive longer to be able to understand the gospel and get saved it's worth its weight in gold,” says Turnbull.

It's hard to know exactly how many lives he has helped, but it is estimated to be at least 1,000.

The LifeSouth family calls him a community hero but he says he's just an average guy given an opportunity to bless others.

Gregg encourages everyone else to take 30 minutes out of their day to make a lifetime difference for someone else.

If you want to join Gregg in saving lives the center is in need of more platelet donors.

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