This week is organ donation week; an event which takes place annually in the first week of September. It’s dedicated to raising awareness of how organ donation can help save lives – and how people can get involved.
Last year’s event proved one of the most successful yet, thanks to the heartwarming video featuring brothers Freddie and Louie. Louie desperately needed a liver transplant, and thanks to the kindness of strangers, Louie was able to continue to enjoy playing games and sharing his toys with Freddie.
This year’s event, which has been taking place over the course of this week, focused on the theme of ‘words save lives’. Communication is key to organ donation, as many families often don’t ever have a conversation about whether or not they are comfortable donating should the need arise.
Talking it out
An open conversation can do wonders to make a potentially difficult situation easier for all. If a family member passes away without being on the organ register and they are a suitable match, the decision then lies with the family as for how to proceed. This can be a difficult time for all, so by talking about what people want in terms or organ donation beforehand can make the decision easy and stress-free for all involved.
However, conversations surrounding joining the organ donor register could be even more heated this year due to the governments continued discussions surrounding the introduction of a new opt-out donor system – which could be introduced as soon as 2020.
Under the proposed ideas, everyone will be automatically enrolled on the register unless they manually opt-out themselves. It’s hoped the plan will greatly help those waiting for transplants but may be struggling to find one. The NHS states that there are currently 6000 people waiting for a transplant, meaning more donors are needed to meet the demand.
However, that’s not to say the previous years haven’t helped raise awareness and save lives. Many famous celebrities have gotten involved over the years, including English fashion and beauty blogger Zoella, as well as well-known English footballer Alan Shearer.
Aside from raising awareness and promoting conversation, organ donation week also promises lots of fun and games that families can get involved with. Events have been taking place up and down the country, with people even able to set up their own events in their community – helping to spread the word even further.
Keep up to date with all that’s happening by following @NHSOrganDonor on Twitter, and if you’re interested in being an organ donor, you can find out more on the NHS organ donor website.