News from our partners: Organ Donation Week begins
News from our partners Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH)
During Organ Donation Week, that started on Monday 2 September 2019, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) is urging people to talk to their families about organ donation to increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed by an organ transplant.
In 2018/19, SaTH facilitated five organ retrievals that resulted in 15 patients receiving lifesaving or life changing transplants.
In the last financial year, 1 April 2018 until 31 March 2019, there were 5,091 patients awaiting the call for an organ transplant in England and a total of 6,077 across the UK.
If more people agreed to donate more lives would be saved, so as of next year the law around organ donation is changing in England.
From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die, unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups. In the lead up to the change in law, SaTH is joining NHS Blood and Transplant to urge families across England to talk about their organ donation decision, with the campaign message ‘Pass it on’.
Fiona Deakin, Organ Donation Specialist Nurse at SaTH, said:
“We need more people in the region to talk about organ donation to increase the number of life-saving transplants.
“While most people agree that it is important to talk to their family about organ donation, it is less likely that they will have actually had this important conversation.
“Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not. Please don’t wait. Speak to your family about organ donation today.”
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said:
“We are very grateful to The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust for its support during Organ Donation Week.
“Even after the law around organ donation changes next year, families will still be approached before organ donation goes ahead. So it remains so important to talk to your families about your views.
“Register your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell your family the choice you have made. If the time comes, we know families find the organ donation conversation with nurses or medical teams much easier if they already know what their relative wanted.”
The Trust which runs Shropshire’s acute hospitals is working with NHS Blood and Transplant to promote organ donation to all its patients, visitors and staff.
Lift doors at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford are covered with promotional messages urging people to sign up to be an organ donor.
Fiona Deakin, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at SaTH, said:
“Organ donation saves lives and one organ donor can save or transform up to nine lives – and even more by donating tissue as well.
“I know that more families agree to donation if they know their loved one was on the Organ Donor Register.
“Save your family from having to guess what you would have wanted. Join the NHS Organ Donor Register and let your family know your decision. One day it could be someone you love in need of a transplant.”
Sign up today at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and let your friends and family know you want to help others after your death.
There is a memorial window at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford that pays tribute to the thousands of organ donors across the county.
The memorial window features a Forget Me Not design to show that donors will never be forgotten.
Ben Reid, Chair of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs PRH and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), said:
“Organ donation is an amazingly generous act and saves thousands of lives in the UK every year.
“Every donor has given an incredible gift and we know their families take great pride and comfort from knowing their loved one has changed the lives of others
“The sculpture is stunning and provides people with an area to celebrate and remember the people who have given something amazing.”
The memorial was designed by art students Diane Silverton and Emma Mounsey after SaTH launched a competition in conjunction with the art department at The University of Wolverhampton.
Dr Ashley Miller, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at SaTH, said:
“The window honours the extraordinary gift made by past SaTH donors and provides the focal point of a quiet and peaceful area in the hospital.
“It is an area where donor families can come to remember their loved ones and which can also be used by the relatives of other patients.”
Shropshire youngster Oliver Harrison was born with only one side of his heart functioning and underwent open heart surgery at just three-days-old.
He was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) – a birth-defect affecting the blood flow through the heart – and by the age of two he had undergone four open-heart surgeries before being told he would need a heart transplant.
Having been told in early 2013 he only had six month to live, Oliver and his family were given a lifeline when he underwent a successful heart transplant in August 2013.
His mum Emma, of Oswestry, is a passionate supporter of the Organ Donation Register.
“In August 2013 one amazing brave family gave Oliver the gift of life. Without Oliver’s heart transplant we would have lost our darling son and our younger son, Harry, would have lost his beautiful sibling.
“We’re eternally grateful each and every day. Oliver would not be here today without the heart transplant and it has turned his life around.”
Earlier this year Oliver defied all the odds to achieve a podium place at the British Transplant Games when he finished second in the 25-metre breast-stroke event.
It was also a great moment for Oliver’s family, with parents Emma and Adam and his younger brother Harry all cheering him on from the side.
“The whole event was so emotional. To see all the amazing children there taking part who wouldn’t be here without their transplants.”
Emma is incredibly passionate about raising awareness of organ donation and the importance of talking about the issue with loved ones.
“We think about our donor family every day. It’s so incredibly generous of them to make such a big decision and give Oliver the chance of life.
“I’m very passionate about raising awareness of the matter. I’d never really given it much though until it affected me and my family.
“I believe now that if you’re willing to accept an organ donation, then you should be willing to give.
“To give the chance of life to someone is the most precious gift.”