Organ donation week runs from the 19th to the 25th of September. Organ donation is the gift of time, the gift of a future, and a gift of life. Last year over 4000 people in the UK had their lives transformed thanks to an organ donation. However, there are still over 7000 people waiting for a transplant with one in three people dying daily from not receiving a much-needed transplant. There is no age limit for becoming a donor.
In the UK there is an opt-out system, meaning that everyone is on the donor list unless they opt out. Before this change in legislation, 40% of families refused to donate the organs of a loved one. After you die, you can donate your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, corneas, and small intestine. Donating any one of these or all can greatly transform a person's life. Up to nine people's lives can be saved if one person donates their organs.
You can also donate whilst you're still alive, such as bone marrow and the amniotic membrane from pregnancy.
A series of tests will be performed to match the organ to a recipient. Following a transplant, the recipient is required to be on a course of strong medications such as immunosuppressants.
Following your organs being donated, your body will be returned to your family and they can proceed with your funeral arrangements as you wish, with an open casket being an option.
Donating your organs after you die is a great legacy. Talk to your loved ones this week about the greatness of being an organ donor.