Record blood donor award stolen in raid

A PENSIONER who is one of Scotland's most prolific blood donors has been left devastated after her award was stolen during a break-in at her home.

Rosemary Longmuir received the commemorative silver quaich after giving more than 100 pints of her sought-after blood, but thieves who ransacked her Broughton home at the weekend made off with it, along with thousands of pounds' worth of property.

The 60-year-old supermarket worker had only left her basement flat on Broughton Road for two hours when the burglars struck on Saturday afternoon.

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Despite the huge financial loss and the trauma of having her home ransacked, it was the loss of the award which upset her the most.

"I literally paid for that award in blood and I can't understand why they would have taken it," she said.

"It's of no use to anyone but me. I'd wanted to engrave it but never got round to doing that. I just hope if they try to move it on someone is able to spot it."

Ms Longmuir was a unique donor to the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS). Because of her rare blood type, she donated platelets – or plasmas as they were formerly known – as part of a 90-minute session every month.

"All it involved me doing was turning up for a cup of tea and being hooked up to this machine," she added.

"It was no bother. They would take two pints of your blood, spin it then give you the red cells back and keep the whites."

The thieves broke down the door but then reattached the Yale lock to minimise suspicion.

As well as the quaich, they made off with two flatscreen televisions and several items of jewellery and paperwork.

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"I saw the state of the door and knew something had happened, but I actually had to use my key to get in because they'd put the lock back, so at first I thought they hadn't got in," she added.

A spokeswoman for the SNBTS hailed Ms Longmuir as "one of the country's most prolific" donors and said they would replace the award should it not turn up in due course.

She said: "It is a real shame this has happened. People who donate platelets have to be really committed, as she obviously was. We will make sure we can get the quaich replaced."

A police spokesman said: "We are investigating a housebreaking at an address in Broughton Road on Saturday afternoon.

"Electrical equipment and jewellery were among the items stolen during the break-in, which happened between 2:45pm and 4:45pm.

"Anyone who noticed any suspicious activity, or who has any information that can assist our inquiries, should contact police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."