Sailor turns needle phobia into remarkable donor legacy

LS William Hull

LS William Hull

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

One of the most generous givers of blood admits he cringes each time he sees a needle being cocked to penetrate his flesh, and that he doesn’t like the sight of his own blood.

But that hasn’t stopped LS William Hull, a 50-year-old Naval Communicator with Base Information Services, from rolling up his sleeve and offering up a pint. On April 10, at the Chiefs’ and Petty Officers’ Mess, he will make his 474th donation to the Canadian Blood Services.

“I totally hate it, every single time the needle goes in I look away and grit my teeth,” he says. “But I realize every time I give blood I am getting the chance to help someone, to save their life, or give them badly needed medical attention.”

To give blood many people need to overcome needle phobia. LS Hull vividly remembers the first time he gave blood in 1984; he was 18 years old at the Canadian Red Cross on Wicklow Street in St. John’s, Nfld.

“The first time is always the most anxious,” he says. “It can be overcome, and like many things inhibiting our dreams and aspirations in life it’s all about overcoming your fear and realizing the good that will come out of your action.”

Following that turning point, LS Hull has made 209 White Blood Donations, the traditional way of donating a pint of blood containing red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma at one time, and 264 Platelet Donations, a procedure that produces blood transfusions beneficial to cancer patients.

Patricia Willms, Canadian Blood Services Event Coordinator, characterizes LS Hull’s donation tally as “an amazing legacy of dedication”, while Territory Manager Ann Chabert describe donation No. 474 as a “huge milestone.”

Others, including BIS Branch Petty Officer, CPO1 Darrel Downey also marvel at the sailor’s efforts.

“LS Hull has demonstrated exceptional commitment to Canadian Blood Services. Our ability to give life as donors is wonderful, but to donate as often as LS Hull has over the past 32 years is absolutely remarkable; a true testament to his unselfish nature.”

That generous spirit is also evident in his spare time when he volunteers for the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association as a RSO and safety orientation officer. LS Hull also donates money to the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas drive, and organizes Poker Nights at the Fleet Club.

This proud Newfoundlander grew up in Conception Bay South, located approximately 30 kilometres west of St. John’s, and says his outlook on life and spirit of generosity was inspired by his upbringing, mainly influenced by his father, William Charles Hull, mother, Lillian Lear, his grandparents, George Henry and Clara Lear and his wife Christine Galway.

“I am not doing this for any form of recognition, I’m doing this because I was taught from a very young age that your word is your bond, and to do things with integrity,” he says. “I truly believe in this and try to live my life this way.”

The April 10 Blood Donor clinic runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the  Chiefs’ and Petty Officers’ Mess. For more information about upcoming blood donor clinics and the process of giving blood visit the Canadian Blood Services website at

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