“It’s a conversation that could save lives” – that’s the message from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust as it urges everyone to discuss their decision about organ donation with their loved ones.
As Organ Donation Week (Monday 20 to Sunday 26 September) approaches, the Trust has revealed that during the last year, three selfless organ donors who sadly died under its care have helped 11 others to live.
Kevin Robinson, Trust non-executive director and chair of the organ donation committee, said: “Organ donors are heroes. It’s that simple.
“During the last year three people who had let their loved ones know of their decision about organ donation lost their lives in our hospitals. However, thanks to their selflessness and compassion, 11 other people, each one a complete stranger, didn’t die.
“Everyone needs to discuss organ donation with their loved ones to make sure their wishes are carried out in the event of their death. It’s not an easy conversation to have, no one would suggest otherwise, but it’s vital.
“It’s a conversation that could save lives.”
The theme of this year’s national Organ Donation Week is Leave Them Certain.
While the law now follows a presumed consent to be placed on the organ donor register, permission is still required from the next of kin should a deceased person’s organs be viable for organ donation.
Janine Tate, specialist organ donation nurse, commented: “I was just 24 when I witnessed a heart transplant. I saw the gentleman before, during and after his surgery. It was a moving experience and inspired me to consider moving my career towards organ donation as a specialism.
“Later on I cared for a nine-year old girl who also had a heart transplant. I watched her walk out of the hospital! After that, my mind was made up about how I wanted to spend my working life.
“It’s just so important to discuss your decision about organ donation. Your loved ones will always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead, so they need to know they are fully aware of what you want after your death.
“Please don’t delay, lives are depending on it. Speak to your family about organ donation and leave them certain.”
Throughout Organ Donation Week, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will be issuing regular social media featuring staff explaining why they are committing to the Leave Them Certain message.
One organ donor can save up to nine lives and a further 40 can live healthier lives through tissue donation.
To find out more and register your decision, visit the NHS Organ Donor Register and share your decision with your family. Users of the NHS app, can also use this to record, check or amend their details or decision.