A gift that keeps on giv­ing

The Wokingham Paper - - HEALTH - Jim Stock­ley is the Chair of Health­watch Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Opin­ions ex­pressed in this blog are his own

THIS is a per­sonal story. Last year, my younger brother suf­fered a stroke and sub­se­quently died in Lis­ter Hos­pi­tal Steve­nage.

The staff were fan­tas­tic.

One thing he had been clear about was he wanted to be an or­gan donor. And his fam­ily knew about it.

He di­rectly saved three lives and has and will im­prove and sus­tain many oth­ers.

The lit­tle pin pic­tured is an award from the Or­der of St John and NHS Blood and Trans­plant.

It was pre­sented by the Deputy Lieu­tenant of Hert­ford­shire along with a cer­tifi­cate to my brother’s wife and son last month.

He was one of a num­ber of peo­ple be­ing hon­oured that day in front of their fam­i­lies. This was in recog­ni­tion of their or­gan do­na­tion.

It hon­ours donors for their gift and raises aware­ness of the suc­cess of or­gan do­na­tion. And to in­spire other fam­i­lies to fol­low in the donor’s foot­steps.

It was a mov­ing cer­e­mony and the con­ver­sa­tions after­wards, es­pe­cially with the pro­fes­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tives ce­mented in my mind how im­por­tant this gift is.

My brother was a smoker, but if your lungs didn’t work at all, wouldn’t you want some that did? Don’t pre­sume that no­body will need you and there­fore you shouldn’t be a donor.

Wishes

Whilst the law is chang­ing so that you will be pre­sumed a donor un­less you opt out; your fam­ily still need to know your wishes.

We were asked about my brother’s wishes and we knew and agreed to him be­ing a donor.

When you are asked to con­firm your agree­ment to your loved one be­ing a donor it is in sad cir­cum­stances. But here’s the thing; this gift is go­ing to bring joy to an un­known num­ber of peo­ple and their fam­i­lies and friends and peo­ple who aren’t friends now but will be. It just RIP­PLES out for ever.

So, no apolo­gies for steal­ing Nicola’s column this week. But in the spirit of Health­watch sign­post­ing every­body to best prac­tice, please make some rip­ples and be an or­gan donor.

If you needed an or­gan trans­plant you would have it done. You could help those in need by opt­ing to do­nate or­gans and tis­sue.

There are many dif­fer­ent types of do­na­tion that can greatly en­hance and save peo­ple’s lives. Do some­thing life chang­ing and join the NHS Or­gan Do­na­tion Reg­is­ter.

Here’s a cou­ple of use­ful links: www.or­gan­do­na­tion.nhs.uk Www.kid­n­ey­careuk.org

And as the pin says ADD LIFE, GIVE HOPE.

Let Health­watch know your views. Get in touch:

Phone: 0118 418 1 418

Web­site: www.health­watch­wok­ing­ham.co.uk

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