We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill
Save an Unknown Life?
After a time you’d do anything to save them … anything. But there’s nothing you can do.
There is someone who can help, an anonymous person you may never know, an Organ Donor.
As Alf Ward told me:
… it was National Transplant Week, something which I have a personal interest in. My friend has undergone a kidney transplant. She is in intensive care in Edinburgh. We’re still on tenterhooks, to see if the kidney will be accepted.
A Stoic Queue
“Almost 49,000 people in the UK have endured the wait for an organ transplant in the last 10 years and over 6,000, including 270 children, have died before receiving the transplant they desperately needed, statistics reveal.”
On the donor side, the statistics show a wide gap between those providing organs and those requiring them with a recipient to donor gap of nearly 3 to 1… some shortage.
Recently the Welsh Assembly were the first in the UK to change the policy from opt in (carry a donors card) to a principle of opt out. That means it is assumed donors’ organs are available for transplant, in the event of their death, unless they have opted out.
With such an imbalance between supply and demand, this positive option of opt out should help increase the number of recipients, and reduce the number of deaths due to organ failure.
Me? I’ve opted in and carry a donor card.
Quality of Life
The quality of life of those awaiting transplant will surely improve with a more even availability of organs. Imagine the benefit to people attending dialysis regularly with all the stress and energy loss such a regime entails.
There is a problem in the Black & Asian communities, with a shortage of donors, which means this community may have to wait 3 times as long. Please read about 5 paragraphs down the link for more information. If you are a member of these communities, over to you …
The BBC offers a wide range of information about organ donation. Interesting links include:
There are current statistics here.
What Can I Do?
- Decide to donate. That’s the biggie. If you’re willing and settled that you’d be happy to help another person live after you’re gone… let it be known. I decided and I’ve shared my wish with my family and I carry a donor card.
- Tell your loved ones. Problems arise when the wishes of the deceased have not been properly communicated to their family. Hurting people often can’t bear the thought of a loved one being a donor. Having made your wishes clear makes it so much easier for those left behind.
- Register as a donor. It’s simple in the UK. Check out the details in your own neck of the woods. Are you going to let the Scots stay in the lead?
I know this is more serious than usual. Alf, eloquent man that he is, hooked me. I hope this assists him in his quest to raise awareness. Please pass it on.