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Miss Wales calls on communities across Wales to give someone 'the best gift' this Christmas after receiving lifesaving blood transfusions

A lady hangs decorations on a Christmas tree.

13 December 2022

A twenty-two-year-old from Barry is encouraging people across Wales to consider donating blood, platelets and bone marrow this festive season. Miss Wales winner Darcey Corria received multiple blood transfusions after a serious car accident left her fighting for her life.

Darcey was crowned Miss Wales in May 2022, but her success almost came to a tragic end when she sustained a broken pelvis, back, jaw and neck following a near-fatal car accident in January 2023 on the M4 near Bridgend.

Darcey, who is recovering well from her injuries and is currently preparing for her entry to Miss World in February next year, said:

"I am so grateful to those who give up their time to help others in need. Sadly, I cannot donate blood now following my transfusions, but I hope that by sharing the difference it made to me personally, it may encourage more people to consider donating. It really can change someone’s life.

“Without the selflessness of blood donors, I would not be able to continue doing the things I love, and I may not be here at all today. I now have the chance to fulfil my lifelong dream and compete for the title of Miss World, and it’s thanks to blood donors. The blood donations were truly the best gift I have ever received.”

Darcey, who has Jamaican heritage through her father, is a black rights activist and is championing diversity here in Wales alongside her pageant work. With Christmas celebrations fast approaching, Miss Wales is supporting the Welsh Blood Service’s campaign, #thebestgift.

The campaign encourages communities across Wales to support blood stocks over the Winter period by raising awareness of the importance of a blood, platelet or bone marrow donation and the difference those precious gifts make to patients in need like Darcey, who said:

"I would urge everybody eligible to support the Welsh Blood Service, particularly those from a Black, Asian, Mixed or Minority Ethnic background. By coming forward, you are really helping patients in need and providing diversity to the donor panel, which will help a larger number of patients."

The Service provides lifesaving blood and blood products to 19 hospitals across Wales and four Wales Air Ambulance aircraft for use in emergencies. It also manages the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry which recruits and supports bone marrow volunteers matched with cancer patients across the globe to make a potentially lifesaving bone marrow donation.

Currently, three in every ten patients requiring a bone marrow transplant do not find the match they need, and the risk of not finding a donor increases to seven in ten for patients of minority ethnic heritage due to the lack of representation on global donor registers.

Alan Prosser, Welsh Blood Service Director, said:

“For patients who find themselves in need, a donation will be ‘the best gift’ they receive this Christmas. The Service must be prepared, so we’re reaching out to our communities across Wales encourage them to make a lifesaving donation over the Winter period, and for those aged 17 to 30 years old, to also sign up to our bone marrow registry."

Blood and blood products, which are needed to support patients and save lives across Wales, have a short shelf life and are in constant need by hospitals every day, including bank holidays like Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Do something amazing this Christmas and New Year. Give someone the best gift, give blood and, if you are aged between 17 and 30, join the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry either when you donate blood or by requesting a swab kit online.

Featured image courtesy of Danielle Latimer.

Velindre University NHS Trust, Unit 2,Charnwood Court, Parc Nantgarw, Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QZ
Tel: 029 2019 6161