I was given the best gift of all – plea for donors

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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

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