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“It’s the greatest gift you can give”

7 September 2017

One person could save or transform the lives of up to nine others – make sure you sign the register this Organ Donation Week, 4 – 10 September 2017.

“It’s the greatest gift you can give”

Specialist Nurses will be encouraging people to talk loud and proud about their wishes after they die, during National Organ Donation Week next week (4 – 10 September).

Alex Wray, Raz Igasan and Sarah Plant, all Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation, work across the Emergency Department and two Intensive Care Units at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital.

The team coordinates transplants between patients from this area and suitable matches across the country, and their work has contributed to some 381 people across the Yorkshire and Humber region receiving organ transplants in 2016/17.

Research carried out by NHS Blood and Transplant shows that more than 80% of people support organ donation but fewer than half (49%) have ever talked about it.

In a bid to raise awareness and get those conversations started between friends and loved ones this week, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s team of Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation joined Humberside Fire and Rescue Service to unveil a special fire engine this week in Queens Gardens, Hull.

The fully wrapped engine in distinctive purple livery was launched in the very 'heart of Hull' sporting its 'Yes I Donate' branding. The engine will be highly visible across the city and beyond and will start the conversation and encourage people to join the Donor Register. The crew from Bransholme sported pink Organ Donation t-shirts as they rolled into Queens Gardens on the new vehicle.

The team will also be taking part in the UK Rescue Organisation Challenge at the KCOM Stadium on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 September. The team will be encouraging people to talk to loved ones about their wishes around organ donation, and encouraging people to take part in a game of Operation Donation!

Alex Wray, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation says:

“One donor can save or transform the lives of up to nine people, and yet three people die in the UK every day waiting for a transplant.

“In our field of work, we often find that people have not even discussed organ donation with their families, or they may have signed the Organ Donor Register but never mentioned this to loved ones. If a family doesn’t want to proceed with donation, even if that was the wish of their loved one while they were alive, we can’t go ahead, so it’s really important for anyone who wants to be an organ donor to have a conversation with their nearest and dearest to let them know.

“Should it come to it, it can be a very helpful thing for a family to see something positive come from a bereavement. Of course any loss if difficult, but knowing you have helped to save the life of someone else can often be a factor in helping people cope and work through their grief.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Blacksell was delighted with the latest addition to the Service's fleet of vehicles in Hull:

"This is the fifth of our special wraps and we are proud to be involved with the Organ Donation Team to support this important issue. We look forward to seeing Alex and her team at UKRO in the coming days and hope that we can start some conversations and change some lives."

Research shows that women are 30% more likely to start a conversation about organ donation than men, but whoever you are and whatever your views, make them known. Don’t leave your family to make a difficult decision without knowing what you wanted.

For more information, call and see the Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation at the events listed above, or contact NHS Blood and Transplant on 0300 123 23 23 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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