Trust makes it easy for local people to say "I do" during National Transplant Week

Posted: September 4, 2015

7-13 September

As part of National Transplant Week (7-13 September), Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging local people to do something extraordinary and say "I do" when asked if they wish to donate their organs.
 
During 2014/15 the number of transplants in the UK decreased by five per cent, with one of the main reasons for the fall being that donors still find it difficult to discuss their end-of-life wishes with the people closest to them.
 
Families, who are unaware of their relative's decision to be an organ donor, while also suffering from the shock and grief of losing a loved one, will often refuse permission for organs to be taken after death.

Sign up at GWH  

On Monday 7 and Friday 11 September, local people visiting the Great Western Hospital in Swindon will be able to sign up to the Organ Donor Register by visiting the information stand that will be on display in the main atrium.
 
Experts from the Trust will also be on hand on these dates to answer questions and to discuss the importance of informing loved ones about the decision to become an organ donor.
 
Malcolm Watters, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, said: "It's so important for people to make their families aware of their wishes, just signing the Organ Donor Register is not enough.
 
"In an average year, around 10 people will die at the Great Western Hospital in a manner that makes organ donation a possibility.

"If we lose just one donation through family refusal, then we have lost 10 per cent of our donations for the entire year."
 
As of September 2015, there are 50 people in the Swindon area currently waiting for a transplant. 

"One of the lucky ones"

Maxine Cowlin, from Somerset, was just 17 when she was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a rare liver condition which can lead to cancer and ultimately liver failure.
 
She was given a lifesaving transplant in October 2014 and will visit the Great Western Hospital in November to talk to members of the public about her story as part of the Trust's first Donation Day.

"Before my transplant every day was a struggle, I had to give up so many things that I loved and my life was on hold waiting for a call that was never certain," she said.
 
"I was one of the lucky ones, my transplant came in time and I have now got my life back. I feel better than I have in years and I don't take a single day for granted."

Stay up-to-date with the latest from the Trust during National Transplant Week by logging on to Twitter and using #GWHTransplantWeek.
  
For more information on becoming an organ donor, visit  www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

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