Organ Donation Week 2018 has been a huge success as inquisitive patients and the public lend us their support.
You may have noticed a sea of pink this week at Hammersmith and Charing Cross Hospitals where we set up shop during this year's Organ Donation Week (ODW). It's always a pleasure to meet with other patients, hospital staff and general members of the public as their curiosity gets the better of them and they want to learn more about organ donation. We also had the benefit of sharing our space with professional nurses and ambassadors who were specially trained to provide information and to educate passers by.
We discussed views and topics around organ donation as we all had experiences of being patients, donors or family members of renal patients and donors. The key message we wanted to promote was how important organ donation really is. It's not just the recipient that benefits from this special gift but a whole chain of people including their families and relatives, friends and employers. Ultimately the gift of a single organ donation could impact upon countless lives. We want to encourage all our friends, families and supporters to sign up to the organ donor register and carry an organ donor card where ever they go. A couple of people we met told us that they can't remember if they signed up for an organ donor card. It's easy to check. Just go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk. You can update any changes you may have had in your circumstances such as name, address etc…
Carrying an organ donor card is a very noble gesture but you must tell your next of kin and close family that you wish to donate your organs and/ or tissue if you were to pass away. It can save a lot of time and avoid any awkward situations if everyone is in the know.
We also had inquiries from individuals who wanted to know;
If they could be living donors for their loved ones?
What if they were a different blood group?
What happens if they need a kidney in later life?
What if they want to donate their organ(s) to someone unrelated to them?
They were unsure of what their religion states about organ donation…
To learn more about organ donation, there is a wealth of information online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk/real-life-stories. If you have any further questions, ask your GP or renal practioner.
Below are some pictures of us at Charing Cross Hospital. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and had a chat with us. Thanks to everyone that purchased our merchandise and gave us their loose change.
If you would like to become a volunteer for the West London Kidney Patients' Association, we would love to hear from you. Don't worry, you can do as much or as little as you wish. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up to our mailing list.