Families in Shropshire urged to talk about organ donation

The NHS is calling on people across Shropshire to talk to their families about organ donation during Organ Donation Week

The ‘Harmonies of Hope’ children’s choir
The ‘Harmonies of Hope’ children’s choir

It comes as more than 7,000 people, including 200 children, are predicted to be in need of an organ transplant.

The hidden impact for these patients, which includes 43 people currently on the waiting list for a transplant in Shropshire, is being highlighted with the release of a new song from the Harmonies of Hope children’s choir called Invisible.

After a most challenging year for the NHS and people across the world, waiting lists for organs including kidney, heart, liver, lungs, are expected to rise.

NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for more families in the county to talk and share their organ donation decision to increase the chances of the many children, young people and adults in need of their own life-saving call.

Last year, 18 people in Shropshire had their lives saved by a transplant after someone died and donated their organs.

Listen to the choir's song:

If more people agreed to donate, more lives would be saved, and it is hoped the choir’s song will inspire people to talk about organ donation.

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Every day across the UK there are thousands of patients and their families, waiting for that all important life-saving call, including 43 people in Shropshire.

"Yet, this is often only possible as a result of another family receiving some of the hardest news they might ever have to hear.

“Even though the law around organ donation has changed to an opt out system for adults in England, Scotland and Wales, it is important that people are aware that families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.

“It is just as important as ever to make your organ donation decision known to your family and friends and leave them certain of what you what to happen in the event of your death.

“We urge all family members of all ages in Shropshire to take a moment this Organ Donation Week to talk and share your decision.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Waiting for an organ match can be a challenging and isolating experience, and I want to applaud Harmonies of Hope for their bravery in sharing such powerful accounts of lifesaving transplants.

“It’s vital we do all we can to ensure no child feels invisible as they wait for a match, particularly those families in underrepresented, ethnic minority communities where donation rates are not high.

“This can change and I am urging families up and down the country to have honest and frank conversations this week about organ donations. It’s a decision that could save someone’s life.”

For more information, or to register your organ donation decision, visit organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.

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