A personal story for Organ Donation Week (5-11th September)

Published: 05 September, 2016
A personal story for Organ Donation Week (5-11th September)

We are all aware of the headline in the news telling the powerful stories of Organ Donors yet only 32% of us have registered as an Organ Donor or hold a card. Last April we were all made aware of the inspiring story of newborn baby, Teddy Houlston, who died when he was under 2 hours old and whose kidneys were used to save an adults life.

Organ Donation

We are all aware of the headline in the news telling the powerful stories of Organ Donors yet only 32% of us have registered as an Organ Donor or hold a card. Last April we were all made aware of the inspiring story of newborn baby, Teddy Houlston, who died when he was under 2 hours old and whose kidneys were used to save an adults life.

A few years ago a friend of mine was completing the form to renew her driving licence, I noticed the box which asked about organ donation and I presumed that it would be ticked.  I watched in surprise when the box was bypassed and when I enquired why it wasn’t ticked, she informed me that she was not ready for it to be recorded in this way.

A Beautiful Speech

In November 2015 I attended a family wedding and as the guests arrived for the service each guest was given an organza bag with a pin attached to a message, ‘Please wear this pin in memory of ‘bride’s’ dad’.  As many people who attended didn’t have their glasses to hand they wore the pin and didn’t question why.

At the reception, much to everyone’s surprise the bride stood and shared her family story and the reason for the pin.  She went on to explain that in the late 1980’s her mum and dad were told that as her dad had some health issues the only thing that could help him back to full health was a heart and kidney transplant.  At this time it was pioneering surgery but for a number of years they learned to live by the bleeper and waited for it to sound.  In the middle of one night when the bride was 8 years old, the bleeper sounded, when along with her sister she was ushered to their auntie’s house while her mum and dad made the journey to Papworth Hospital. Thankfully the donation of a heart and kidney were successful for her dad.  He enjoyed many years of family life and a new love of sport.

The bride’s family never forgot the kindest act of all, the gift from a young man who had so tragically died in an accident but who had shared his wish to support Organ Donation with his family and in their moment of absolute heartbreak they were able to carry out his wishes with the medical professionals. 

The bride then spoke of the next 15 years of the love, support, joy and memories they were able to create and share as a family. When she was looking at ways to remember her dad on her wedding day she came across this little known charity, Donor Family Network. The ethos is symbolised by its logo which consists of a butterfly and a forget-me-not. The butterfly represents hope and new life and the forget-me-not means no donor will ever be forgotten.

It was a perfect pin and the bride was amazing for speaking with emotion in a tactful manner whilst sharing her family’s personal and powerful story – there truly was not a dry eye but even on such a happy day so many people left the wedding vowing to register and spread the word of Organ Donation.

pin

Driving Licence

I am pleased to say that as time has passed, my friend has now shared her wishes and registered as an Organ Donor.

 

Website Links

Have a look at the website, carry a card – save a life

Organ Donation - https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/

Donor Family Network - http://www.donorfamilynetwork.co.uk/

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Written by: Tracey Parkinson

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