NHS Organ Donation

I’ve been an advocate of donation since I could join the register and the ever growing need for donors sometimes makes you think “what difference am I really going to make”.

This year, one of my favourite spoken word artists – George the Poet has put his talent to the issues surrounding organ donation and the status of how we might perceive the usefulness of our bodies after we pass on.

What can be donated

Thanks to modern medicine and technology, a healthy body can provide a staggering of body parts to be passed onto someone in need.

Six organs can be directly transplanted including –

  • kidneys
  • liver
  • heart
  • lungs
  • small bowel
  • pancreas

But further to this we can provide Six further types of tissue including –

  • the cornea (the transparent tissue layer at the front of the eye)
  • bone
  • skin
  • heart valves
  • tendons
  • cartilage

Imagine being able to give someone the beauty of sight. To enable them to see and experience the world again or for the first time. Have your heart pump life into someone else or the give someone with severe burns the skin to walk boldly back into the world.

If you’ve never seen the movie Seven Pounds featuring Will Smith – watch it and you might understand the length ones body can go in changing the lives of others around them.

The most powerful signature I’ve signed

Altruism is a word I believe very deeply in – the act of selflessness with no requirement or search for reward or credit. When we die, we do not know the credit we may receive if we change a life. Making that decision can seem very strange to some people and you can be forgiven for the fear of it, the unknown.

Giving blood is great start and at 20 donations in my life, I can say you definitely get a buzz from the good you do. I’m on the Bone Marrow register – there is a severe lack of Asian donors and I know that if I am ever called, I have the opportunity to help someone.

However the most powerful signature I’ve signed for donation was the one to be part of the Organ Donor register. If/when I die, I know that some part of me will go to help someone and I am almost more certain of the difference this will make than the difference of what I do while I’m alive will do, from this I can take great confidence in my choices. When you join a register and are called while still alive, you have been specifically selected as a match for someone. You already have a connection to the person through the make-up of your bodies.

As George says in this video and poem, it is important for those you love to know what you want to do with your body when you pass. By joining the register and telling them, you are helping them understand you and your wishes in the world you leave behind.

Have the conversation with the people you love, they have a right to know. Explore the possibility of donation. You can always say no but “someone somewhere is praying you exist”.

NHS Organ Donation