How donated blood helped Geelong win the AFL Premiership in 2011

How donated blood helped Geelong win the AFL Premiership in 2011

When Geelong AFL premiership player Tom Lonergan suffered an on-field injury, he needed Geelong’s entire supply of his blood type during surgery.

Blood donations saved Tom’s life the night of his seventh AFL game, and he went on to play more than 200 games and play a critical role in winning the 2011 Premiership for his team.


Tom’s injury occurred when he collided with another player who was taking a mark

He was taken to hospital, where his blood pressure dropped suddenly, indicating internal bleeding. Tom was rushed to surgery where he had a kidney removed, and needed blood transfusions amounting to his entire blood volume, twice over.

“I never really thought too much about giving blood prior to the accident,” Tom said. Now though, Tom thinks often of how many blood donors saved his life the night he lost his kidney.

“If those generous blood donors hadn’t taken the time to donate I simply wouldn’t be here – I wouldn’t have played in the premiership, gotten married or even become a Dad.


Determined to thank blood donors

Tom's determination to raise awareness about the need for regular donations has seen him become a ‘Blood Ambassador’.

“Ever since I urgently needed 45 units of blood during my operation in 2006 to save my life after a horrific on-field accident, I feel indebted to this organisation.

For me, I would be heartbroken if my son couldn’t receive the necessary treatment he needed due to a lack of donated blood.”

No one expects to need blood, but they do expect it to be there if they do, which is why we work around the clock to provide blood to patients all over the country.

Every day thousands of Australians receive lifesaving treatments made from blood donations, but each blood donation can only last 42 days.

So for recipients of this life-saving gift, 42 isn’t just a number; it’s life, the universe and everything.