Pat Ramsey MLA, SDLP, has spoken of the importance of organ donation and of informing your loved ones of your wishes well in advance of any emergency situation.
Speaking at a British Medical Association organised event at Government Buildings, Stormont on Monday, Mr. Ramsey used the occasion to praise the honour and courageousness of Derry’s Orsi family.
Lisa Orsi passed away in March in Singapore; her family choose to donate the 22 year old’s organs. As a result Lisa has now saved more than 50 lives.
Mr Ramsey was speaking on Monday in his capacity as vice chairperson of the All Party Group on Organ Donation, he stated that: “This was a time to reflect on the good work being done to encourage families to have that difficult conversation long before any decision is required.”
In the UK roughly 10, 000 patients are awaiting an organ donor, however three of those are lost daily, due to the fact that not enough people have signed the organ donor register.
Speaking of Monday’s event Mr. Ramsey added: “It was also time to reflect on the difficult journey undertaken by the Orsi family, in particular Lisa’s parents Dennis and Sharon, and highlight their bravery. It is certainly not an easy decision to make.
“The event also highlighted the number of people who helped and assisted them. The Orsi family informed me that they took a tremendous sense of pride and comfort from the support they received both at home and by the medical teams in Derry. It is important to highlight cases which have such profound effects on so many families and in such an international context. Lisa has now become a Singapore ambassador for organ donation.”
This is due to the fact that the 22 year old became the first Westerner to donate her organs in Singapore.
Mr. Ramsey said: “It is important that until we have an opt out scheme, families and loved ones have a conversation on organ donation as this will assist them should the worst happen.
“I would also encourage everyone to sign up to the register as you really can give people the gift of life when your time comes.”
To register please log onto www.organdonation.nhs.uk/index.asp