A Derry-based organ donation specialist has called on local people to join the Register after it emerged that 14 people in the north are dying every year while waiting on a transplant.
Between April 2016 and March 2017 there were seven organ donors in the Western Trust area, resulting in 17 patients receiving a transplant.
Speaking ahead of Organ Donation Week, Dr Declan Grace, Lead Clinician for Organ Donation at the Western Trust said: “Organ donation transforms and saves lives and the Western Trust is encouraging everyone to join the Organ Donor register and tell their loved ones that they wish to be a donor, so that they are aware of their wishes.
“Deciding to become an organ donor is entirely your decision but it does affect your family. After your death your next of kin will be consulted on whether your organs can be donated, even if you carry a donor card, and any decision they make will be respected. When families or friends know the wishes of their loved ones it makes the situation less stressful and can give them the confidence to fulfil your wish to be an organ donor.
“No one wants to think or talk about dying but set in the context of helping one or more than one person after death, the conversation becomes easier. The more people pledge to donate their organs and tissues after their death, the more people stand to benefit.”
You can register as a donor online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or www.organdonationni.info.Or you can register when applying for or renewing a driving licence, with a G.P Practice or a Boots Advantage Card, or phone the Donor Line 0300 123 23 23 24 hours a day or download a form from www.organdonation.nhs.uk, print it and return it by Freepost.