A RECORD 18 million people are now registered on the Organ Donor Register in the UK – two million of which are from Scotland.
Yet, although registrations in the UK have doubled over the last 10 years, this figure only represents a third of the population and there is still a desperate need for more people to register.
The most common organ donated is a kidney and the BBC ALBA documentary Trusadh: The Gift takes a look inside the world of kidney donation.
The show meets those living with the harsh reality of kidney failure and time-consuming, and at times painful dialysis, as they patiently await a transplant.
Taking a look at all sides of organ donation, the programme also features those whose lives have been transformed, who have been given a new lease of life, following one of the ‘greatest gifts’ you can ever get.
Thirty three year old Suzanne Reid from Inverness has kidney failure and is waiting for a transplant. She has been on dialysis since November 2009 and as she point out many aren’t aware of her situation.
She says: “Well you look at somebody with kidney disease. They look fine a lot of the time, so it’s something that you can’t see.”
When Alexander MacLeod from Grosebay in Harris was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2009, it was the impact on his daily life that worried him: “My initial concern was that haemodialysis would mean I’d have to give up work,” he said, but luckily another solution arose.
And Gillian Paterson from Larkhall wanted to donate her kidney to her good friend Alan Love who had been on dialysis for 12 years.
For Gillian there was no alternative. She said: “He doesn’t like to say it, but I’m quite in your face so I’ll say it – with a kidney he’ll die.”
Following on from National Transplant Week (July 9th to 15th) Trusadh: The Gift can be seen on BBC ALBA on Monday, July 23rd, at 9pm.