Kosta’s Story

A Cardiff man who relies on blood donations in his role as a medic for the Wales Air Ambulance Charity is using World Blood Donor Day (June 14) to say a big ‘thank you’ to donors across the country.

Dr Kosta Morley and his colleagues at the Charity made 50 lifesaving blood transfusions in 2017. The majority of which were given to patients following traumatic injuries.

Kosta, originally from Dubai, said: “Every air ambulance carries lifesaving donations ready to give to those in need during emergency situations. It’s crucial that we can provide blood transfusion quickly to give our team more time when providing specialist treatment.

“I’ve experienced first-hand the difference that blood donors are making to patients in need of a transfusion. It’s fantastic that we have a service here in Wales where donors are taking the time to give blood to someone they’ll most likely never meet.

“I see the difference made by having the Welsh Blood Service; it’s not just the blood recipient that benefit, it extends beyond that, to their family and loved ones who all truly appreciate the gesture that the blood donors make.”

World Blood Donor Day is an international awareness day to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. The day also raises awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need.

This year, World Blood Donor Day falls during an international blood donor awareness campaign, Missing Type. During the campaign, organisations and individuals across Wales have united in dropping the letters A, B and O from their social media profile to raise awareness of the importance of the key blood groups.

Cath O’Brien, Director of the Welsh Blood Service said: “To us, every blood donor is a hero and World Blood Donor day is an important opportunity for us to thank them for their unwavering support.

“There are around 90,000 blood donors across Wales who have donated at least once in the past two years. Many of our donors routinely give at every opportunity with some reaching 50, 75 or even 100 donations!

“With one unit of blood potentially able to help up to three patients, these donors are having a major impact on people’s lives. Without blood donors, the world would be a very different place for patients.”

The Welsh Blood Service hosts over 1600 blood donation sessions across Wales each year, collecting almost 100,000 units of blood. Blood collected in Wales is supplied to 19 hospitals across the country.

Anyone interested in giving blood can visit welsh-blood.org or call 0800 252266 to book an appointment at a clinic near them.