The gift of certainty

When Bharat Kakkad passed away suddenly in 2019, his sons, Shivum and Shyamal, found themselves in the difficult position of not knowing whether their father had wanted to be an organ donor or not.

Shivum said, "We thought we knew everything about dad, but we didn’t know if he wanted to donate his organs. It would have really helped us if he’d spoken about organ donation or been on the NHS Organ Donor Register, as we weren’t sure what to do."

Families will always be involved before organ donation goes ahead, so it’s important that as a family you talk about it and whether you’d want to be a donor. That way, if your family are ever involved in discussions about organ donation, they will have the certainty they need to support your decision at a difficult time.

Despite not having had a previous conversation about organ donation, Bharat’s family did agree to donating his organs, on the basis of his character and his desire to help others in life.

Shyamal said, "He was into charity, he was into giving, and he would always be helping others."

Leave them certain

Nine out of ten families support organ donation if they know what their loved one wanted. Most people think it’s important to share their decision about organ donation, but fewer than half have.

Shivum added, "It just felt like, someone’s got to benefit from this at the end of the day and it’s not us, so why not someone else?"

The family felt strongly that organ donation was in line with his faith and beliefs.

Bharat Kakkad with his sons, Shivum and Shyamal
Bharat Kakkad with his sons, Shivum and Shyamal

Shivum said, "How can you bring light into someone else’s life? It’s to change their life isn’t it, I guess, and that can be done through organ donation."

The family agreed to donate both of Bharat’s kidneys, his corneas and other tissue, helping several people on the transplant waiting list.

Shivum explained, "Make sure that your family and the people close to you know your organ donation decision. You've got to make your view clear. Talk to your loved ones and leave them certain." 

Since their tragic loss, Bharat’s sons have become ambassadors for organ donation and their story features in our new campaign Leave them certain.

It aims to inspire more conversations about organ donation, to help families in the same situation as the Kakkad family.

You can still choose whether or not you want to be an organ donor when you die by registering your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and telling your family. Your faith, beliefs and culture will continue to be respected.

To find out more and record your decision please visit