Time to talk to your family about organ donation and share your wishes with loved ones

Choosing to donate your organs after death can provide a life-changing and life-saving gift, but your family will ultimately make the decision, so make sure you tell them about your wishes.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 12:07 pm
The Gray family have the conversation about joining the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) (Alan, Irene, Callum and Caitlin) SUS-200412-120015001

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Even though the law around organ donation has now changed, it is important that people know that families continue to be consulted if organ donation becomes a possibility.

“Sadly, many organ donation opportunities are still lost each year, as families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not.

“Please don’t wait. Register your organ donation decision and speak with your family today.”

Founders of Share Your Wish: Dee Lothian, Sarah Jones and Wendy Kane

Sarah Jones from Burgess Hill had a kidney transplant around 14 years ago and now runs a Sussex-based social media campaign called Share Your Wishes. She runs it with Eastbourne woman Dee Lothian, whose daughter had a liver transplant, and Worthing woman Wendy Kane. Wendy lost her son Jack, and as an organ donor, he went on the save five other lives.

The three ladies have a wealth of personal experience on transplants and are working to make sure others understand.

Sarah said, “Share your Wishes is a campaign to encourage people to talk to their families about organ donation and make sure their loved ones know they want to donate their organs. We have been running three years and we have 25,000 followers across the country.

“We have been very overwhelmed by the support people have shown us. We are not a charity because it is not funding that is needed, it is awareness and making sure people have these conversations with their families so they can make an informed decision about their loved one’s organs if that time comes.

“This is my way of giving something back and living each day for my donor. Never a day goes past when I don’t think about that young man who saved my life.”

NHS Blood and Transplant and the Share Your Wishes team are united in their aim to stop organ donation being seen as a taboo and to get families talking.

For more information, or register your organ donation decision, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.