It’s Organ Donation Week from September 5-11, and people across the Western Isles are being urged to make it count by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
With figures highlighting that one person every day in the UK dies waiting on an organ transplant, the need for more donors is clear.
Currently 43 per cent of Scots (32.9 per cent of people in the Western Isles) are on the Register, but with 540 people in Scotland still waiting, the more people that join, the more lives can be saved.
Graham Fraser, who underwent his third liver transplant in April is backing the Week, in the hope that more people, like him, can be saved.
Graham, 50, was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in 1997 – a condition which would lead to the father of two needing three liver transplants.
The latest transplant was required after his PSC came back in 2015, affecting his liver function once again. He was listed for transplant in January 2016, and it went ahead in April just weeks ahead of daughter Stacie’s wedding.
Although the surgery was challenging due to his previous transplants, his recovery went well and he was able to return home the day before the wedding.
Speaking about his donor, Graham said: “I owe that person everything. Their decision has given me and perhaps two or three other people a second chance at life. Because of that selfless decision, I got to walk my daughter down the aisle and hopefully have years of good health ahead of me. It’s unbelievable what organ donors do for others, and I just hope their families can draw some comfort from that through their grief.
“Anyone who joins the Register can give the gift of life. It’s important people understand the huge difference it can make. If you support organ donation, take the time to join today.”
So don’t put it off. Wrinkly ones, lean ones, spare tyre ones, pretty ones, big ones – we need every body to join the NHS Organ Donor Register now.
Dr Maggie Watts, Director of Public Health, NHS Western Isles said: “It isn’t always easy to put the desires of a loved one to donate their organs to help others into practice. However the more people that join the register and talk with their family and friends about what they want to happen after their death, the more we can strive to honour those wishes and make a difference to the lives of others.
“Everyone has the potential to save a life, so don’t rule yourself out. With one person dying every day whilst waiting on an organ transplant, increasing the number of people on the organ donor register is vital.”
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