Facebook ‘Will save lives’

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A new Facebook option will save lives, according to a local politician and a former heart transplant patient.

The addition of an “organ donor” button to the ‘Life Events’ section on the social networking site means users can inform their friends of their intention to donate. Users are simply one click away from saving a life after they pass away, say Facebook. The option also allows people to share their story of when, where or why they decided to become a donor. Derry woman Michelle Crawford, who received a heart transplant twenty years ago, welcomed the option. She told the ‘Journal’: “Any initiative which gets people talking about organ donation is a good thing. I support every opportunity we have to join the organ donor register. It gives life after death, hope to another family, it saves lives. You can leave something precious behind and your memory will live on in the life you saved.”

In an emotional plea for people to sign up to the register, Ms. Crawford said: “If it was your partner or sibling that needed that vital organ to live, you would be praying that someone out there was selfless enough to have signed the organ donor register. So don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here.”

Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Councillor Paul Fleming, added: “I welcome the fact that Facebook have introduced a link for people to sign up as organ donors. While polls shows that over 80% of people are in favour of organ donation only 25% have actually signed up. The Facebook initiative will allow people to sign up as an organ donor and also allow people to invite friends and contacts to sign up. Facebook should be praised for raising the issue.”