With a desperate shortage of donated organs, it’s now more important than ever to sign up as a potential donor.
Around 6500 people are waiting for a organ transplant across the UK and some will die before they get the transplant they desperately need due to a shortage of organ donors.
Most people support organ donation, but too many (37%) who want to be donors say they haven’t got round to joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
This winter NHS Blood and Transplant will be asking people to think about the incredible gift they could give by highlighting the lives saved and transformed through organ donation and transplantation.
ike 3-year-old Freddie McDonald from West Yorkshire, who received a liver transplant in 2015.
Mum Emma said: “Freddie’s organ donor is our hero. Until you are a family waiting for a donor you can never understand the importance of signing the organ donation register. It might be one of those things you think you’ll do another time. If you, your child or anyone close to you ever needs an organ, you’ll know the desperation felt by families on the transplant list.”
When Beth Dykes sadly died aged 21 after a brain haemorrhage, her family were in no doubt that she would have wanted to be an organ donor as they had discussed organ donation during a family dinner.
Jim Walker, Beth’s stepfather said: “Without that conversation, we would have been lost. We feel we are quite strong but without knowing that’s what Beth wanted, it would have been an impossible decision at a devastating time.”
Beth’s organs and tissues went on to save and improve the lives of four people.
Jim has also become a blood donor. He added: “Since Beth passed away, I have started to give blood. It was something that I had always thought about doing, but never got around to making the effort. I now do it every three months, as it’s my way of ‘donating’ whilst I’m alive and it makes me feel closer to Beth.”
As an organ donor you could save or transform up to nine lives. So, what are you waiting for?
Join the NHS Organ Donation Register, and make sure you share your decision with your friends and family. Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.