To inform you about organ donation and how it affects lives.
Transplants have saved the lives of Stuart Watson and Aaron Knox both of whom had heart transplants. Stuart Watson had a heart transplant in 2009 after heart failure due to being born with Transposition of the Great Arteries which is a congenital heart defect. However, some like Lewis do not survive to receive a transplant and this is due to a lack of organ donors.
Here is an extract from his mother, Karen Prior (taken from The Lewis Prior Foundation)
“Lewis was our son, who we very sadly lost on April 6th 2004, he was in need of an urgent heart transplant. He was just two years and eight months old. Lewis was a happy, brave & special little boy, who we miss a lot. We want him to remain in the memories of those that knew him, and for those that did not meet him, to be told just how very special he was. Colin and Karen’s moto is “together we can, make a difference .”
If Lewis had had the transplant he would have had one of the most miraculous achievements of modern medicine but this was not to be.
If Lewis, like Stuart and Aaron had had the transplant he would have been one of the 2,700 to take on a new lease of life in the UK every year. Zoe Chambers was lucky enough to be one of the 2,700 people to have a transplant but unfortunately she only survived 1 more year. Her mother Julie Chambers is a big advocate of organ donation and regularly appears on TV to publicise the matter. (Link to CHD Angels: A Place of remembrance)
It is not just in the UK where people have tranplants. Stuart was one of 9 per million population in New Zealand and Aaron was one of 14.8 per million population in Canada. The New Zealand statistics are from 2007. The Canadian statistics are from 2008. Another way of reading statistics is that in New Zealand in 2008 there were 183 total transplants, of which 107 came from deceased donors and In Canada in 2008 there were 2083 transplants of which 1541 were from deceased donors.
Stuart was in organ failure so his transplant was one of the best possible treatment for organ failure.
Kidney transplants are the most commonly performed. Transplants of the heart, liver and lungs are also regularly carried out. As medicine advances, other vital organs including the pancreas and small bowel are also being used in transplants. Tissue such as corneas, heart valves, skin and bone can also be donated.
The increasing effectiveness of transplantation means that many more patients can be considered for treatment in this way but there is a serious shortage of donors as Colin and Karen Prior found out (Lewis on the CHD Angels: A place to remembrance page).
For some people this means waiting, sometime for years, and undergoing difficult and stressful treatment. For all too many it means they will die before a suitable organ becomes available.
The UK Transplant organisation is committed to saving or dramatically improving many more lives by increasing the number of organs available for donation.
Why don’t you register on your national organ transplant list, you may help save not just one life but many others.
Statistics for the UK from March 2011
- 3,740 organ transplants were carried out, thanks to the generosity of 2,055 donors.
- 1,008 lives were saved in the UK through a heart, lung, liver or combined heart/lungs, liver/kidney, liver/pancreas or heart/kidney transplant.
- 2,732 patients’ lives were dramatically improved by a kidney or pancreas transplant, 156 of whom received a combined kidney/pancreas transplant.
- A further 3,564 people had their sight restored through a cornea transplant.
- A record number of 567 non-heartbeating donor kidney transplants took place and accounted for one in five of all kidney transplants.
- 1,045 living donor kidney transplants were carried out accounting for more than a third of all kidney transplants. ‘Non-directed’ living donor transplants (also known as altruistic donor transplants) and paired and pooled donations contributed more than 60 kidney transplants between them.
- Almost 675,000 more people pledged to help others after their death by registering their wishes on the NHS Organ Donor Register, bringing the total to 17,751,795 (March 2011).
Statistics taken from: NHSBT Organ Donation
To register/sign up – click the Signed up yet image below or click on this link: Registration Form
Wrote by CHD-UK
Related Links for the UK
CHD-UK backs Opt for Life and they wrote saying how impressed they were with our Transplant versus Religion and would like to use it on their Support Us page which we gave permission to use. To read about supporting Opt for Life click here: http://optingforlife.org/support-us/
Organ Donation links in other Countries
Organ Donation in America
Organ Donation – Australia
Organ Donation in Austria
Organ Donation in Belgium
Organ Donation in Canada
Organ Donation in Croatia
Organ Donation in Finland
Organ Donation in France
Organ Donation in Germany
Organ Donation in Italy
Organ Donation in Luxemborg
Organ Donation in Mid-Western America
Organ Donation in Norway
Organ Donation in Slovenia
Organ Donation and Dialysis in Spain
Organ Donation in Sweden
Organ Donation in The Netherlands
Organ Donation in New Zealand
Organ Donation in Wales, United Kingdom