Gift Of Life

Share your decision to become a donor

/ 4 February 2016

We would like to thank everyone who has signed the donor register, or will go on to sign it, as a result of watching Gift of Life.

Just as important as signing the register is taking the opportunity to discuss your decision with your family and friends.  Even though you have signed the register, when the time comes your next of kin will be asked if they support your decision and, despite you having signed up, the family can still overrule your decision at this darkest time of their lives because you did not inform them when you were alive.

If they are aware of your wishes, it makes this traumatic moment a little easier for them to give their consent.  Please explain to your loved ones how donating your organs and tissues will save or enhance lives through a transplant.

Carla, a heart recipient, said: “Having the conversation makes it easier for your loved ones to carry out your wishes, should you ever be in the position to donate.  I wouldn’t be here now if a family hadn’t agreed.”

Darran, whose son went on to save five lives, said: “Connor didn’t have the conversation with us, his family.  When we found out he had signed the register to be an organ donor we knew our boy must have wanted this and so we honoured his wishes.  He helped lots of people in life; why wouldn’t he in death?  He was so selfless.”

Charlotte, a double lung recipient, said: “Four years ago my life was saved.  My donor had signed the register and her family followed through with her wishes.  I hope that by knowing that she wanted to be an organ donor in the event of her death, the decision for her family was a slightly easier one.  Having the conversation lets your family know exactly what you want.  Think about it and talk about it!”

Luke, a widower whose wife ran out of time before receiving a set of lungs, said:

“Sam was determined to be a donor if she didn’t get her transplant.  She donated her corneas.”

Vicky’s mum went on to save five lives.  She said: “Having the conversation with your family to let them know you want to be an organ donor is vital for having your wishes carried out.  In that moment, when we were told my mum had passed on, I couldn’t think about anything else other than wanting to run away and hide.  But my sister told the doctor that my mum was on the register and wanted to donate her organs.  And in that moment I remembered and thought: yes, she was!  If my mum hadn’t told each of us her wishes, five people’s lives would never have been saved.  It was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made, because carrying out my mum’s last wishes was the last beautiful thing we could do for her.”

Ian, whose wife went on to save five lives, said: “I was recently asked if it was a hard decision to make.  My reply was that it was very easy because I knew Linny was on the organ donor register and it was the last thing I could do for her – to make her wish happen.”

Julie, whose sister went on to save five lives, said: “Registering as an organ donor is the most selfless act anyone can do – to make that decision to gift your organs after your own death.  But your wishes can be overruled by a grieving loved one if they are hearing this and being asked for final consent for the first time when that eventful moment comes.  So please, please tell ALL your nearest and dearest that you’ve signed up as an organ donor and that it is YOUR wish to help save lives when that time comes.  Having that conversation is a vital part of deciding to become an organ donor and it is so easily overlooked.  Don’t be afraid to talk about it, not only to family but friends as well; you might be surprised to find out you are not the only one or, better still, inspire your family and friends to sign up too”.

Live Life Give Life is a small charity which aims to encourage people to register as organ donors through public education, awareness campaigns, events and activities.  They also fund initiatives to improve the welfare of (and outcome for) patients who need transplants, in addition to supporting the public recognition of donors and their families.  All donations received are put towards raising awareness of organ donation and, ultimately, saving lives.

Find out more here: www.livelifegivelife.org.uk

Find out how you can become an organ donor and save lives here.