Yesterday on Wednesday 7th September we hosted an event alongside NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) at Westminster to help raise awareness of organ donation and transplantation.
We encouraged kidney patients to invite their local MP’s along to the reception to help increase support in Parliament for organ donation and transplant as well as raising awareness of kidney disease. Over 60 MPs attended the event as well as a similar number of patients, donors, health professionals, staff and supporters.
There were speeches by Rehman Chishti MP, who hosted the event, and Jackie Doyle-Price, the Minister for care and mental health. We also heard from a number of people whose lives had been affected by organ donation, including Kidney Care UK Advocacy Officer and transplant recipient, William Johnston who spent 17 long years waiting and hoping for a transplant, and the inspirational Nigel and Sue Burton who donated their son Martin’s organs.
We also heard from Patricia Carroll whose daughter, Natalie, died at 38 after battling kidney failure, whilst on the transplant list. One small comfort for Patricia was that her daughter’s heart valves went on to save the life of an eight-month-old girl with congenital heart disease. Patricia has also been a live donor herself, giving one of her kidneys to 22-year-old Joe Carmona, who had been on dialysis for a number of years. You can read Patricia Carroll’s story in full here (external link).
Fiona Loud, Policy Director said ‘We were absolutely delighted by the fantastic turnout and heartfelt commitment to increasing organ donation and transplantation; the speeches were extraordinarily moving and we’d like to thank our speakers. They highlighted how challenging kidney failure can be, how transplants transform lives and also the exceptional generosity of organ donors and their families. We hope that our call to Parliamentarians to look at all possible ways of increasing consent will be heard and that the English public will be able to take part in a full public consultation on consent in due course.”
It was all part of Organ Donation Week (4-10 September) where hospitals, charities and supporters of organ donation is encouraging people across the UK to talk about organ donation with their families.
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