Free Derry Wall marks organ donation week

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One of Derry’s most famous landmarks has been emblazoned in pink with the ‘Yes I Donate: Is Deontóir Mé’ slogan to encourage more people to get on the donor register this Organ Donation Week.

Máirtín MacGabhann whose son Dáithí was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and needs a transplant travelled all the way from Belfast to Free Derry Corner to raise awareness on Sunday.

Máirtín was supported by Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Karen Mullan, who said: “Always a pleasure to meet little Dáithí’s father Máirtín who is doing tremendous work to highlight this vital campaign which undoubtedly saves lives.”

She encouraged people to sign up and join the organ donation register in order to have the chance of changing the lives of those many patients in need of new organs.

On Sunday Free Derry Corner joined Black Mountain, on which a huge ‘I DONATE’ banner has been illuminated above Belfast, in the organ awareness campaign. It’s hoped the initiative will encourage more people in Derry to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and clear the way for the donation of their organs and tissue after death.

SDLP health spokesman Mark. H. Durkan, meanwhile, also urged people to sign up.

“Organ donation week is an opportunity to have a life-saving conversation with your friends and family about your wishes if the worst should happen. It’s difficult and deeply personal but it’s so important that more families talk about this.

“The harsh reality is that we do not have enough donors to meet current need and people will continue to die on waiting lists. There are 133 people waiting for an organ transplant in Northern Ireland right now. Decisions made by brave people in this week could make all the difference to those in desperate need. Anyone over the age of 14 can sign the Organ Donor Register- in a few minutes you can make an inspirational decision which has the possibility to save and transform multiple lives.”