I was given the best gift of all – plea for donors
Bill Chapple placed a note on the Light Up a Life tree at a remembrance ceremony at South Bucks Hospice on Friday, December 12, where he was a special guest along with other dignitaries and TV star Pauline Quirke.
Three years ago, Mr Chapple was given roughly two weeks to live if a donor could not be found for him.
He said: “I was suffering from liver disease and was told that if I didn’t have a transplant within roughly a fortnight it would be too late.
“Then a woman in her late 50s died suddenly and I was given her liver. I don’t know who she was because we are not allowed to know, but without her, I wouldn’t be here today and wouldn’t have met my young grandchildren or been able to give my daughter away in marriage.”
Mr Chapple, 62, spoke out this week in an effort to encourage more people to become donors.
He said: “I count myself as so very lucky and am so grateful to this woman for being a donor, so it is my hope that others are given the same chance of life that came my way.
“No one wants to think about their own death but I would urge everyone to register as an organ donor so that if the worst happened to them, someone could be saved.”
Mr Chapple attended the event to put a note on the tree in memory of the woman whose liver saved his life.
He said: “I always think of her and – although I will never know who she is – I will never be able to forget her and I will always be indebted to her for giving me life when I was desperately ill and allowing me to see grandchildren.
“I have three grandchildren – Jimmy aged two-and-a-half, Ariella aged two and George aged one – so I would not have known them at all and see them grow up.
“I was just well enough to give my daughter away in marriage six months after my operation.”
Becky Clark, specialist nurse organ donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, who is a team manager covering Buckinghamshire, said: “Organ donation saves lives, it is as simple as that. But in order to save more lives in Buckinghamshire and around the country, we need to ensure that many more people sign up to the NHS organ donor register, and that they discuss their decision with those closest to them.”
To find out more, go to www.organdonation.nhs. uk.
Bill Chapple with actress Pauline Quirke