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Organ Donation Week 2022 - Sharing the Gift of Life


Organ donation is when someone decides to give their organs to save or transform the life of someone else. While some organs can be donated when the person is alive, most organ and tissue donations come from people who have died.

It is one of the most precious gifts you can give, and even though the law around organ donation has changed to an opt-out system, it is important that people know that their families and loved ones will still be consulted should the worst happen. 

It remains just as important to register your decision and let your family know what you want to happen. 

In 2019, Stephen Cameron, an avid blood donor, was diagnosed with a subarachnoid haemorrhage, a rare type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain. This resulted in brain damage, which meant that he was on life support for 10 days. It was during this time that his family realised he had signed up to be an organ donor.  After Stephen sadly died, both of his kidneys were donated to two patients in need. 

NHS Blood and Transplant are the facilitators of the Organ Donor Register which is responsible for matching donors to people who are waiting for a transplant. In 2021/22, they facilitated close to 4,400 transplants in the UK. 

At OUH, 26 deceased people donated their organs last year, resulting in 63 people receiving life-saving organ transplantation. Among them was a little girl who received a heart transplant, and a boy who got a liver transplant. As of March 2022, over 1.9 million people in the South Central area have opted in for organ donation. 

Organ Donation Week is from 26 September to 2 October this year. More information about organ donation and how to register your decision can be found on the NHSBT website. 

Dr Andrew Brent, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, and Chair of the OUH Organ Donation Committee, said: "It's a privilege to be able to support the work of the Organ Donation Committee, and the many professionals that work with patients and families to make the amazing gift of organ donation possible. Their dedication and compassion in some of the most difficult and sensitive moments of our clinical practice often goes unseen but is hugely valued. Thank you."

Sarah Cameron, Stephen's daughter, said: "My dad's gift was the best thing that happened to us during that time; it gave a purpose to an otherwise helpless and devastating situation. The initial decision to donate his organs was an easy one. We lost someone we love, but thanks to his gift two families will not have to go through the same pain, and that is worth more than we can explain."