Florida Man Sets Blood Donor Record

John Sheppard has given blood nearly 400 times, but he's not counting

Call John Sheppard the anti-Count Dracula.

The Florida man takes as much joy in giving his blood as the famous vampire did while sucking hsi victims dry.

Sheppard, 78, has donated nearly 40 gallons of blood, with his last pint making him by far the Guinness Book of World Record's new king of plasma.

"I had no idea I would get to this point," said the Fort Myers resident who set the mark last month. "Setting records is not why I am doing it."

Officially, Sheppard has given 315 pints of blood. But that only counts the hospital records that can be found.

There are another six years of religious donating that weren't counted, Sheppard said.

And unlike some donors who get a few bucks after giving their blood, Sheppard has never made a dime from his plasma. He's donated, for free, at Lee Memorial Hospital since 1957.

Sheppard said he actually started donating his blood in 1951 when he was 18. He was inspired by a former high school football teammate who had been injured in the Korean War.

Sheppard has kept up the pledge 60 years later.

Along for the bloody ride has been Lee Admire, who has drawn Sheppard's blood for more than 40 years.

"He has wonderful veins. He’s a very easy stick," she said. "He wasn't just a donor. He was a friend."

Sheppard, a retired attorney, still gives blood every 56 days and plans to keep going as long as he can. He said he hopes his world record inspires young people to carry the torch and maybe surpass him.

"When you donate blood, you come out of there feeling good. It’s a natural high," Sheppard said. "There is still a blood shortage. It would be so easy if a few people just started giving blood fairly regularly. I hope someone breaks my record. Absolutely."

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