Taxi driver battled blizzards to deliver blood

A hospital said a huge thank you to a taxi driver today who battled through blizzards to deliver vital blood to treat cancer patients.

Abdirashid Issa was taking the supplies from Southampton to Winchester and Basingstoke when he was caught up in Monday's snow in Hampshire.

He made the drop in Winchester but was forced to abandon his car due to tailbacks and walk four miles from the M3 motorway to the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke in "horrible" blizzard conditions.

He was then stranded overnight and had to sleep on a waiting room chair before he made his way back to get his car.

Father-of-one Mr Issa, who works for Central Shirley Cars in Southampton, moved to England from Somalia six years ago with his wife Iasha.

He set off with the blood at 5pm but he did not reach Basingstoke until 11pm.

The taxi driver told the Southern Daily Echo said: "It was very important. It said 'urgent blood' and if someone needed it I had to make sacrifices because they might be dying.

"I could have stayed in my heated car but I had to do it."

A spokeswoman for the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke said: "We have sent a huge thank you to Mr Issa, who went well beyond the call of duty to deliver blood stocks to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

"The delivery included platelets needed for our leukaemia patients and other blood stock which enabled the hospital to continue with planned major operations on Tuesday as well as maintaining an adequate stock for emergencies."