Donor Cards and Why You Should Carry One

Did you read the story in the paper this week of a fourteen year girl who tragically died after an asthma attack last week?  Her name is Cleo Lloyd and she has had asthma since she was two.   Sadly after an attack at her grandparents house she had to be rushed to hospital and hooked up to a ventilator.   After two days her parents made the heart breaking decision to turn it off.

At the same time they also made the decision  to donate her organs “as a tribute to our daughter who was always putting others first”.     That act has saved the lives of five other children.

A documentary on TV recently said that 1500 people die in the UK every day yet only three of those deaths lead to organ donation.   Three.   And that there are currently over 7000 people on the list waiting for a transplant.

That is  a HUGE imbalance between the number of people who need a transplant and those that donate.   In fact you are statistically more likely to need a donation than you are to donate.

Do you carry a donor card?  Do your family know of your wishes?  It is not a conversation that a parent ever wants to have with their children (and obviously you can’t just sit a five year old down and ask them outright, I am not suggesting that) but it is an important conversation to have.    I know that all three of my children are happy to donate their organs should the unthinkable happen.   “I don’t need any of it” is a comment from one of them.

People are dying every day in this country simply because a suitable organ doesn’t become available.    Or maybe it does but the family either don’t know what their family member wanted so don’t agree to the harvesting ( a term I hate by the way) , or they over-rule the donor’s wishes (a situation I think is scandalous).

If you do one thing today, please make it signing up to the Donor Register online.   It takes less than a minute and one day you may save somebody’s life.   Even if you carry a card.   You might not have that card with you, your relatives may not know your wishes.

Imagine it was a member of your family needing a kidney transplant.   Or a heart.   That without it they would die and there was nothing you could but sit by and watch them deteriorate.

Please.   Sign up today.

And then ask you friends and family to do the same and tell them that you have done it.  And that should the unthinkable ever happen, they must allow the transplant teams to work their magic.

Just imagine being able to save somebody’s life.

 

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  • This is a subject very close to my heart for many reasons. I have written about it in the past.

    First – in April 2010 – http://www.iamtypecast.com/2010/04/when-im-dead-they-can-take-what-they.html which explains my reasons for being so passionate about this. And I truly believe it should be opt-out rather than opt-in.

    Second – in December 2010 – http://www.iamtypecast.com/2010/12/proud.html – when I found out my son carried a donor card too.

    Thanks for highlighting this again, T. It’s something that rumbles along in the background and isn’t given much publicity. I personally think it should be highlighted in every advert break and in every national newspaper FOR FREE!

  • Just a thought – it’s also possible to have yourself put on the donor register when you sign up for an Advantage Card, I think. My card has the donor logo on it too and it was really simple to do.

    As far as I’m concerned, when I’ve slipped off this mortal coil, my bag of skin and bones is of zero use to me and if anyone can get even the slightest bit of help, they’re welcome to any of it.

    Brilliant post, this sort of this really needs highlighting.