Concerned about organ donation? Well don't be

Our Experience

Although we had, as a family, all agreed that organ donation was what we wanted, you really at the time do not expect the question or the reality of the situation to arrive, especially concerning one of your children – the youngest and she was only 21.

However the fact that the family had discussed the subject openly meant that we knew it was Beth’s wish to be a donor, It gave us the strength and courage to agree to the operation for organ donation to go ahead.

Operation ? ........ Yes it was an operation….Many have concerns that once you are a donor that you are whisked away and that everything is cut out of you and no one cares.

We, as a family and Beth as a donor, were all treated with the utmost respect and dignity.

We first met the organ donor co-ordinator and she mentioned that Beth was not registered on the donor register. She wanted to make sure that donation was what we wanted as a family.

Important point – discuss it and then ACT on it – Do Register. – Our Family have all now made sure we have.

We assured the organiser that Beth and the family had discussed it and she did wish to donate.

The donor organiser then proceeded to go through the details of the forms and explained carefully and slowly all the points and what procedures were involved. There was no rush and no pressure. At no time were we pushed into any decision.

Once we had agreed the procedures, the co-ordinator then started to contact recipients on the register and contacted the two surgical teams needed to carry out Beth’s operation. Whilst she worked tirelessly to organise we were given complete access to Beth. The nursing staff still attended to her as she lay on the ventilators and kept moving her at set times…….. We had more personal time with her!

At all times we were kept up to date on how many matching recipients had been found and we were told that Beth could help up to 8 people…meaning in real terms not just 8 lives but 8 families – husbands, wives, daughters , sons, grandchildren…the number of people actually affected is countless.

Eventually we were told that the operation would take place at 5am so we had another full day by her side and at any time up to that moment, we could have called the operation off. The recipients and the surgical teams would have been told to stand down. There was never any pressure and everything was handled extremely professionally and with total dignity.

As a family we felt that whilst the co-ordinator was trying to make all the arrangements, it gave the family more precious time with our beautiful Beth.

Her mum was able to stroke her hair and tell her all the stories she had told her over her 21 years from the day she brought her home from hospital when her 4 year old sister said - "She is beautiful mum - Can we keep her forever?". From that moment the close bond of sisters was formed. As Beth later said - "We are like two shoes in a box - we fit perfectly together"

Beth went into theatre at 5am and she was returned to us at 10.30am. Again, the time taken to operate and remove Beth’s organs underlined to us the care and diligence that was taken over her.

Beth’s mum and sister had requested that once Beth was back from theatre if they could give her “last offices”. They were overwhelmed by how beautiful she looked and how neat and tidy the stitches were. It once again reassured us and should reassure you all, how dignified the whole procedure had been handled.

If every visitor to this site registers as a donor that could save 9 lives. If every visitor has 50 friends and encourages their friends to visit this site and register that could save 450 lives."Everyone needs to discuss Organ Donation"

The importance of Organ Donation should not be misunderstood. It does not just SAVE a life , it impacts on spouses, children, grand children, brothers , sisters , wider family and friends. "Everyone needs to discuss Organ Donation"

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