In the East Riding of Yorkshire, six residents have died due to the shortage of organs in the last year and there are currently 66 people in the East Riding of Yorkshire waiting for a transplant*. NHS Blood and Transplant is highlighting the figures to encourage people to spell out their decision to be an organ donor during National Transplant Week 2014 (7th-13th July).
The aim of this year’s campaign is to increase awareness that the decision to donate a loved one’s organs falls to the family if you die in circumstances where you can donate. If you’ve already talked about it, your family won’t have the burden of having to guess what you would have wanted at an incredibly difficult time and they are more likely to support your decision to donate.
NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to spell out their decision to donate by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and by having a conversation with their family.
A number of famous faces are also backing the Transplant Week campaign.
Katie Piper, Beth Tweddle, Ruth Langsford and Wil Johnson have all been photographed spelling out their donation wishes to loved ones and are urging the public to do the same. Actor David Harewood and TV doctors Dr Hilary Jones, Dr Chris Steele and Dr Ellie Cannon have also pledged their support.
Dr Hilary Jones said; “More people are willing to be an organ donor than are actually signed up. But signing up AND telling your relatives of your decision would saves thousands of lives. I’d encourage everybody to consider spelling out your donation decision as potentially the greatest gift you can give anybody.”
On average, three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there aren’t enough organs available. More lives would be saved if more families agree to donate their loved one’s organs after death. Sadly, four out of ten families don’t give permission to donate when approached.
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Last year 22 people living in the East Riding of Yorkshire benefited from a life-saving organ transplant thanks to families making the decision to donate when a loved one died, a decision that we know makes them incredibly proud**.
“We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don’t know it’s what their loved one wanted.
“To help more people we need everyone, even if you’re one of the 193,306 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in the East Riding of Yorkshire, to tell those closest to you that you want to donate your organs. Please have the conversation and spell it out.”
During National Transplant Week events are taking place across the country to encourage people to spell out their organ donation decision.
For further information about National Transplant Week and to register your organ donation decision go to www.transplantweek.co.uk. Follow NHS Blood and Transplant on twitter @NHSOrganDonor and support us on Facebook www.facebook.com/organdonationuk and remember to #spellitout.