This year’s Organ Donation Week runs from Monday to Sunday (September 2-8) and encourages everyone to share their organ donation decision with family and friends.
The week will also be used to highlight the generosity of donors and the impact they have had on transplant recipients, as well as to educate and inspire people to help save and improve more lives.
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Organ Donation Committee chairman Angela Fisher said: “During Organ Donation Week, we want people to talk to their loved ones about organ donation.
“Let them know that being an organ donor can help save lives. It could help your loved ones in the future.”
Specialist nurse for organ donation Tracy Thomas agreed: “Organ donation saves lives. It might even save the life of a loved one. Talk to your loved ones, talk to your friends about organ donation and make a difference.”
The committee reported to the trust board that Tracy played an important role in all 17 discussions held with potential organ donors and their families during the last year.
As a result of those discussions, 12 donors enabled 29 patients to receive a life-saving or life-changing transplants.
The number of patients waiting for a transplant is still greater than the number of donor organs available. During 2018/19, some 19 people in the south east died before they could receive a transplant.
Nationally, more than 6,000 people are currently waiting for an organ. Three people die each day while on the waiting list.
To help change that situation, a new Max and Keira’s Law will come into effect from spring 2020.
This will mean all people dying over the age of 18 will be considered a potential organ donor, if they are eligible, unless they have opted out.
Angela added: “Having the law represents a brand new milestone for organ donation. It’s fantastic that from next year more lives will be saved and improved.”
More detail about the new law will be available from organ donation information stands outside the Spice of Life restaurants at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester.