SDLP Foyle MLA, and deputy chair of the All Party Group on Organ Donation, Pat Ramsey has urged people to speak up about their organ donation wishes as part of National Transplant Week.
This year’s annual awareness week (July 7-13) asks people to make clear their organ donation wishes, which Mr Ramsey says should form part of discussions for anyone signing the organ donor register.
“I urge people to think about organ donation after death to give others hope of living and, in doing so, they should have an open discussion with loved ones and friends about what that means,” said Mr Ramsey.
“Taking a couple of minutes online to register as a donor has the potential to save lives and can impact many people; not just that of the donor recipient but also their wider family circle and friends.”
Mr Ramsey recently met with organ donor patients on the road to recovery which he described as “enlightening and rewarding”, but he said “it also serves as a very real challenge to help people who are in a race against time; those who are fighting for their lives and depending on an organ donation”.
Mr Ramsey urged people to support efforts of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Northern Ireland ‘Spell it out’ campaign by using social media (via Facebook www.facebook.com/organdonationuk or on Twitter @NHSOrganDonor and to #spellitout)
Mr Ramsey added: “The role of the All Party Group is to champion organ donation, create awareness and educate people about how lives can be saved and, therefore, we encourage all efforts in this respect and urge others too as well.”