Rhydian’s story

A Cardiff man whose mother received blood after giving birth is using World Blood Donor Day (June 14) to say a big ‘thank you’ to blood donors across Wales.

Rhydian Bowen-Phillips, 41 of Grangetown, is thanking donors after his mother received blood at Aberdare Hospital to support her recovery following complications during Rhydian’s childbirth.

Rhydian said: “Without the blood my mother received that day, its unlikely things would have turned out as positively as they did for both of us.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the thousands of donors that take the time to give blood in Wales each year, all for someone they’ll most likely never even meet.

“Both my parents owed a lot to the Welsh Blood Service, not just for the transfusion, but they actually met each other whilst giving blood, so I can say if it wasn’t for giving blood, I certainly wouldn’t be here.

“Nobody ever expects to be the one in need of a transfusion, but fortunately the blood was there for my family when they needed it. I have experienced first-hand the difference receiving blood can make to people’s lives, which is why I continue to donate on my mother’s behalf.

“I hope that sharing my story might encourage someone else to start donating too.”

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 click here or call 0800 252266 to book an appointment at a clinic near them.