Join the NHS Organ Donor Register today

Posted on: 27 September 2010 by Mark O'haire

Every day three people in the UK die waiting on an organ transplant.

Scotland needs to more than double its number of organ donors by 2013 to help reduce this shocking statistic.

Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register can be the easiest thing you do to help save someone’s life in the future.

Nobody likes to think about dying or losing a loved one, but by registering as an organ donor, you can help save lives after your death.

Recent research by NHS Blood and Transplant found 96 percent of people say they would accept an organ but only 36 percent of Scots have actually joined the Register.  Yet you are far more likely to need a transplant than to become an organ donor.

There are currently more than 8,000 people in the UK who are in need of a transplant and this figure is increasing every year.  Every person waiting has parents, children, brothers, sisters and friends all desperate to see their loved one survive. 

Neil Healy, a specialist nurse who deals with organ donation, sees first hand how the Gift of Life can benefit families across the country and urges people not to discount themselves from joining the register.

He said: “The main myth is people thinking they are not suitable to be an organ donor. You are never too old to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and you can still join if you have a medical condition.

“The other myth is people believing that if they are on the Register and fall ill, doctors won’t treat them as well or not try as hard to save their life.  This is not the case. An entirely different team of donation and transplant specialists are called in if you die and you have agreed to be an organ donor.”

Lynne Moir, 47, from Edinburgh is anxiously waiting on a liver transplant.  She is urging Scots to join the NHS Organ Donor Register to help more people like her.

The mother-of-one was diagnosed with Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC), which causes destruction of the bile ducts in the liver, four years ago and in February 2010 she was told she needed a transplant to save her life.

She said: “I have always been healthy, there’s no history of this condition in my family so it came as quite a surprise.  I started feeling really tired, retaining fluid and experiencing an itching sensation all over my body, so I got it checked out. After going back and forward to my GP, and receiving countless tests, a blood test eventually showed I had PBC.  My condition started to deteriorate 18 months ago and I was placed on the transplant list. 

“Things are now out of my hands.  My jaundice is getting worse and I am becoming more tired day by day, so all I can do is wait on ‘the call’.

“Nobody ever thinks this will happen to them but it happens to people across the country on a daily basis. As much as we don’t like thinking about our mortality, we are all going to die but you can give the greatest gift once you are gone: life.

“Up to eight people can be given another chance at life after one person’s death.  I want to see my young son growing up, please help people like me by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register now. 

Every person waiting on a transplant means the world to so many people. Join the NHS Organ Donor Register now at or text “Life” to 61611 and you could save a life.

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