'Let your family know your wishes when it comes to organ donation'

Next week, September 7-13, is not only, we hope, the time when our children are safely back at school, but also organ donation week.

Friday, 4th September 2020, 4:45 pm
Action from the 2019 World Transplant Games, held in Newcastle and Gateshead

The introduction of the presumed consent law for organ donation this year has been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

This caused many, much-needed transplant operations to be paused as NHS priorities had to be switched to meet this new threat to public health.

However, due to many critical conditions life saving organ transplants were re-commenced with Covid-19 screening on a gradually increasing scale.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Graham Moore, Westfield Health chairman

Of course like many other serious conditions the NHS took longer to respond during the Pandemic leading to ever longer waiting lists.

This would have led to further distress of those waiting also for a transplant, which even in normal times results in three deaths every day waiting for the call that never comes.

The new law, presuming that when we die our organs can be used, unless we declare otherwise, will certainly save more lives, provided we indicate our wishes to our family, who still have be consulted.

Many of us cannot be heroes in life, but can be in death as our organs have the potential to save many lives.

It also has given bereaved families some comfort that their loved ones loss has not been in vain too.

Every year, The Westfield Health British Transplant Games give an opportunity to those who have received a transplant to showcase and celebrate the benefits in a serious of athletic events .

Teams from the various cities and/or hospitals take part with several thousand athletes attending each year, including a team from Sheffield.

The most emotional part of the games is the parade of donor families who saved others by agreeing to their loved ones organs being transplanted.

Due to coronavirus, this year’s games, to be held in Coventry, were postponed, along with the World Games in USA – the next games are due in Leeds in August.

So when organ donation week comes, remember it may be you, your family, colleague or indeed another human being who may need a life-saving transplant, so please communicate your wishes to your family.