NHS Blood and Transplant is encouraging people in Leicestershire and Lincolnshire to discuss their donation wishes.
More than 170 people are estimated to be on the waiting list for an organ donation across the counties, although this figure is likely higher.
During Organ Donation Week, September 20 to 26, families, friends and even work colleagues are encouraged to talk about organ donation decisions.
The hidden impact for these patients is being highlighted with the release of a new song from the ‘Harmonies of Hope’ children’s choir called ‘Invisible’.
After a most challenging year for the NHS and people across the world, waiting lists for organs including kidney, heart, liver, lungs, are expected to rise and NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people to make sure others know their decision.
Although people are now automatically enrolled on the Organ Donor Register, unless they ask to be taken off or cannot be for reasons like medical conditions, families will still be approached.
This means it is still vital the family, and close friends know what decision has been made by the person.
It is hoped the choir’s song will inspire people to talk about organ donation and for all members of the family, whatever their age, to help make sure more lives are saved.
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation, at NHS Blood and Transplant, says:
“Every day across the UK there are thousands of patients and their families, waiting for that all important life-saving call. Yet, this is often only possible as a result of another family receiving some of the hardest news they might ever have to hear.
“Even though the law around organ donation has changed to an opt out system for adults in England, Scotland and Wales, it is important that people are aware that families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.
“It is just as important as ever to make your organ donation decision known to your family and friends and leave them certain of what you what to happen in the event of your death.
“We urge all family members of all ages to take a moment this Organ Donation Week to talk and share your decision.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“Waiting for an organ match can be a challenging and isolating experience, and I want to applaud Harmonies of Hope for their bravery in sharing such powerful accounts of lifesaving transplants.
“It’s vital we do all we can to ensure no child feels invisible as they wait for a match, particularly those families in underrepresented, ethnic minority communities where donation rates are not high.
“This can change and I am urging families up and down the country to have honest and frank conversations this week about organ donations. It’s a decision that could save someone’s life.”
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