94 people in Devon are facing Christmas on the waiting list for an organ transplant. They join more than 6,000 people across the UK, including over 180 children, awaiting a life-saving gift.
Families in Devon are being urged to share their organ donation decision this festive season, so that their loved ones know what they want when they die and more patients can receive the transplants they need.
There are currently 6,186 patients in need of an organ transplant in the UK, and 185 of them are children.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Christmas is an incredibly busy time of year, however away from the rush and bustle of preparing for the holiday it should also be a time for family and thinking of others.
“We are urging everyone in Devon to take a moment to think about the people who will spend their Christmas hoping for just one thing; a life saving organ transplant. Would you like to help if you could? If you needed a transplant, would you want someone to donate to you?
“Please let your family know what your organ donation decision is so that we can save more lives. Every precious organ donor allows more families to spend special times together.
“A quick chat can save lives, and we know that even at a time of grief families take enormous comfort and pride from their loved one’s donation.”
From spring 2020 in England and Autumn 2020 in Scotland, the law around organ donation is changing. All adults in Devon will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, known as ‘opt out’, or are in one of groups not covered by the new organ donation law. This system was introduced in Wales in December 2015 and in Jersey in July this year.
Families will still always be involved in organ donation, so it is vital that they know your choice. In the lead up to the change in law, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging families in Devon to talk and share their decision. If the time comes, families find the organ donation conversation much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.
To find out more look out for the new TV advert, which explains more about the law changing in England next year and launches over Christmas. There is more information at www.organdonation.nhs.uk, where you can also join the NHS Organ Donor Register, amend your details and more.
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