Words save lives – “I want to be an organ donor”

31/08/2018

Words save lives – “I want to be an organ donor”Words save lives. The words “I want to be an organ donor” are simple, but what an inspirational difference they could make. This Organ Donation Week ( 3 – 9 September 2018) the Western Trust is centred on encouraging people to talk to those closest to them about organ donation. Many people don’t realise that their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead.

Approximately 140 people in Northern Ireland are waiting on life-saving transplants and approximately 6,000 people in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately every year around 14 people in Northern Ireland die waiting for an organ transplant, highlighting the real shortage of organ donations.

Dr Declan Grace, Lead Clinician for Organ Donation at the Western Trust said: “Organ donation transforms and saves lives and the Western Trust is encouraging everyone to join the Organ Donor register and tell their loved ones that they wish to be a donor, so that they are aware of their wishes.

“Deciding to become an organ donor is entirely your decision but it does affect your family. After your death, your next of kin will be consulted on whether your organs can be donated, even if you carry a donor card, and any decision they make will be respected. When families or friends know the wishes of their loved ones it makes the situation less stressful and can give them the confidence to fulfil your wish to be an organ donor.
 
“No one wants to think or talk about dying but set in the context of helping one or more than one person after death, the conversation becomes easier. The more people pledge to donate their organs and tissues after their death, the more people stand to benefit. Between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 there were seven organ donors in the Western Trust area, resulting in 20 patients receiving a transplant.”
 
Dr Grace continued: “There is a constant drive towards promoting organ donation in the Western Trust and it has been successful. This is shown in the number of people registered as potential donors which has increased from about 25% to 43% in Northern Ireland over the past five years. While this is very encouraging, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure as many people as possible join the Organ Donor register and tell their loved ones about their wishes.”
 
There are many ways to register as a potential donor:

  • Register online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or www.organdonationni.info
  • Register when applying for or renewing a driving licence.
  • Register when registering with a G.P Practice.
  • Telephone the N.H.S. Donor Line 0300 123 23 23. Telephone lines are open 24 hours a day all year round.
  • Download a form from www.organdonation.nhs.uk, print it and return it by Freepost
  • Register when applying for a Boot’s Advantage Card.

 

Maria Coyle, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation

Elaine Doherty, Liver Transplant Recipient