Organ donors save 18 people across Shropshire in six months
Eighteen people received lifesaving or life-changing organ transplants in six months thanks to the generosity of patients at Shropshire’s acute hospitals and their families.
Between April and September this year, The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) enabled donations from six patients after their deaths. Just one organ donor can save or transform the lives of up to nine people.
Fiona Deakin, organ donation specialist nurse at SaTH, which runs the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, said: “Organ donation is an amazingly generous act and saves thousands of lives in the UK every year.
“Every donor has given an incredible gift and we know their families take great pride and comfort from that. I have the utmost respect for both the patients who donate their organs and the families that find it in their hearts to think of others during this extremely difficult time.
“All staff work incredibly hard in very difficult circumstances to honour the patient's end of life care wishes and to help the families who make this decision on their loved one’s behalf, during what is a heart-breaking time for them.
“It is thanks to the patients, their families and the professionalism and care demonstrated by our teams across our emergency departments, intensive therapy units and theatres, that 18 people have received lifesaving and life-enhancing transplants in the space of six months.
“There is only a small percentage of patients that are ever in a position to donate their organs which makes the gift even more precious.”
One patient who received an organ transplant wrote to the donor’s family to tell them what a difference it had made.
The patient said: “How do I say thank you to your loved one and your family? I don't think words cover it, but as I live my life and you live yours there will be an unspoken and heartfelt connection. In the quiet moments I will think of them and you. Thank you.”
In the first six months of 2019/20, 195 people benefited from a ‘solid organ transplant’ in the West Midlands. However, nine people died on the transplant waiting list during this time and 617 people were still waiting as of the 30 September 2019.
Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, wrote to the trust to thank staff for their efforts.
He said: “Every donation reflects the generosity and altruism of both the patient and their family and is a testament to the care and professionalism of colleagues across the NHS, without whose support no organ donation could take place.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your colleagues within your organisation for their dedication and commitment over the last year and to look forward to working with you to save and improve even more lives throughout 2019/20 and beyond.”