GIVING someone the greatest gift of all – the gift of life – is not something which happens every day.
But that’s exactly what brave bone marrow donor Angelo Rossi, 21, of Carew, has done – and he is encouraging others to do the same.
Angelo, a Learning Support Assistant at Monkton Priory School, joined the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry (WBMDR) while giving blood as Pembroke Town Hall last year.
Then last December Angelo was told he could be a potential match and, after four months of medical tests, he underwent his lifesaving operation at St Joseph’s Hospital, Newport, south Wales.
The recipient was a two-year-old child who Angelo may be able to meet after two years.
“It really made it worthwhile,” he said. “Anyone in the same boat would do the same.
“What I went through wasn’t anything compared to what the recipients’ and their families go through. I had a couple of weeks of pain and they have had months or years of pain.
“I was rough for a few days but you just have to keep focused on the recipient.”
“My girlfriend, family and friends have all been really supportive. The whole process has been very smooth. Everybody has been fantastic.
“I’ve had emails from people I don’t even know congratulating me. I’m not even the emotional type but it really got to me.
“People are so kind. It really reminds you of the good in humanity and it’s given me faith in people.
“I just hope more and more people join the register. There are thousands and thousands of people waiting for a donor and there’s no need for it to be like that.”
Tracey Rees, head of Welsh transplant and immunogenic at the Welsh Blood Service added: “What a hero. A patient somewhere in the world has been given a second chance because an anonymous donor – someone like Angelo joined the registry with the intention of giving a patient hope and a chance of life.
“It is an act of enormous kindness which has given the chance of life where there was little chance before.”
For more information contact the Welsh Blood Service 0800 252266 or visit www.welshblood.org.uk.