A gift that keeps on giving
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.
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.
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