Celebrities urge people to spell out their organ donation decision

National Transplant Week Several celebrities including Katie Piper, Beth Tweddle, David Harewood, Wil Johnson and Ruth Langsford have joined the NHS Blood and Transplant in encouraging more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and inform their families.

New figures show that just 45% of families agree to organ donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor. This figure however, rises to 95% when they know the decision.

This year’s National Transplant Week runs from 7th to 13th July.

The aim of this year’s campaign is to get people to spell out their donation decision to increase awareness that families will be asked to agree to organ donation and to encourage more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The campaign is also backed by Dr Hilary Jones and Dr Ellie Cannon. TV personality Katie Piper said: “Letting your loved ones know you want to be an organ donor is so important. My cornea came from an organ donor and if he had not told his friends and family he wanted to be a donor, they might not have allowed donation to go ahead; meaning my life would be very different today.

National Transplant Week “It is devastating for families when someone they love dies so it’s not fair to expect them to have to make the decision for you. If you talk openly to your family about your decision to donate your organs it could save them a great deal of stress when you die.”

On average three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there aren’t enough organs available. More lives could potentially be saved if more families agreed to donate their loved ones’ organs after death. Despite the thousands of life-saving transplant operations which take place every year, around 10,000 people are currently in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant’s Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, said: “We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don’t know if it’s what their loved one wanted. So have the conversation and spell it out.

“Tell those closest to you that you want to donate your organs after you die to help some of the 10,000 people in the UK currently in need of a life changing organ transplant.”

Visit transplantweek.co.uk for further information about National Transplant Week and to register your organ donation decision.

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