This is slightly late – National Transplant Week was 7th – 13th July but I had no internet access, and this is something I really wanted to write about!
It isn’t a pleasant subject to talk about or think about. No one wants to consider what to do with their organs should something happen to them. However, with 1000 people dying each year that could be potentially saved by an organ transplant, it is an important topic to think about, and one that needs discussion.
I’ve been an organ donor since I was 17, when I applied for my provisional driving licence. There was the option to add your name to the register, which I did without a second thought. Graham has also done the same. We also made the decision to add the kids to the donor register. No one ever wants to think about that situation becoming a reality, but in the horrible case it did, I’m sure many parents would want to potentially save the life of a desperately ill child. When Harrison and Alex are old enough to understand, and not be frightened, we will sit down and talk to them about it. If they then want to be taken off the register we will, of course, respect their decision, but hopefully, they will understand how important it is.
This year, the big focus is on ‘spelling it out’. Only 31% of families will agree to organ donation if they don’t know their loved one’s decision. When wishes have been made clear, this jumps to 90% – a massive difference!
From 1st December 2015, an ‘opt out’ programme will be introduced in Wales. This means that unless you opt out, you are automatically deemed to have given consent for donation. This is because the majority of people do want to donate organs, but only 30% actually register. If you live in England and you want to become a registered organ donor, you can do so by clicking here. It only takes a few minutes and you could potentially save many people’s lives.