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Give the Gift of Life - Organ Donation Week 2019

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Organ Donation Week 2019 is due to take place between 2nd September to 6th September.

According to NHS Blood and Transplant, there are currently in excess of 6000 people waiting for a life changing/saving transplant in the UK. Thanks to the existing donors, some of these people will be matched to an organ however, due to a shortage of donors not everyone waiting for a transplant will get one. Unfortunately, NHS Blood and Transplant have noted that across the UK someone dies every day waiting for a transplant.

As long as you are living in the UK and are legally capable of making the decision, anyone and everyone can join the NHS Organ Donation Register regardless of age. If you do choose to donate, it is up to you what you choose to give as there are many different types of donation which can enhance or save a person’s life. These include heart, lung, liver, kidney, bone and corneas which can be used to restore sight. Most donations do take place after death with great respect and care however, it is also possible to conduct live transplants for living kidneys or livers.

These donations can make a HUGE difference to the lives of those who are waiting on the transplant register and their families. This is a difference I have witnessed first hand after a friend of mine’s father received a lung transplant which changed his life forever. Having suffered for numerous years, he was finally matched to a donor at what we later found out to be the very last moment. This changed everything for my friend and her family as her father is now able to conduct a full life all thanks to a generous donor and their family who consented to the transplant. Read more stories about the impact of organ donations here.

In the coming year, organ donation law is changing. From spring 2020 in England and autumn 2020 in Scotland, the law is changing to an opt out system which will mean that all adults will be considered to have consented to being on the register to donate when they die unless they state otherwise and opt out. In the lead up to this change next year, NHS Blood and Transplant have created a campaign called “Pass it On” to urge families to discuss their donation decisions and raise awareness. This is also important as your family need to be informed of your decisions in order to consent to your donation in the event of your death.

Organ donation week is a great opportunity for people affected by organ donation including transplant patients, donor families to emphasise the importance of organ donation. This year, the week of raising awareness includes numerous events including a walk across London on Thursday 5th September to celebrate organ donation, remember loved ones and raise awareness for those still waiting for a life changing transplant. The aim is to cover 1295 miles representing the 1295 people in London on the transplant waiting list. Meet up points have been organised at 5 different London hospitals – for more information click here and to register for the walk click here

For more information or to join the organ donation register, please click here
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