Hospitals’ animals support organ donation

Monday September 5, 2016

Organ Donation Week begins today (5-11 September) with the theme ‘start a conversation’ with your friends and family to ‘turn an end into a beginning’.

Conversations have already begun along the corridors of Worthing and St Richard’s Hospitals after patients, staff and visitors spotted the penguins at Worthing displaying a variety of knitted organs and Brutus, the friendly rhino at St Richard’s, who has a flock of knitted birds on his back and organs attached to his body.

Angela Fisher, Chair of the Trust’s Organ Donation Committee, said: “The serious side to these colourful and amusing additions to the hospitals’ familiar animals is to raise awareness of Organ Donation Week and to spark conversations with loved ones about organ donation.”

It is vital you tell your family about your organ donation decision

On average three people die every day in need of a transplant, due to the shortage of people willing to donate. There are over 6,500 people currently on the transplant waiting list.

Anthony Clarkson, Assistant Director for Organ Donation and Nursing at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Too many families faced with the possibility of donating a relative’s organs, find themselves having to make a decision without the comfort of knowing exactly what their relative would have wanted.

“This makes what is already an emotional and difficult time even harder.

St Richard's friendly rhino, Brutus, helping promote Organ Donation Week
St Richard’s friendly rhino, Brutus, helping promote Organ Donation Week

“It is vital you tell your family about your organ donation decision: that knowledge will make it so much easier for them to support what you want.

“Many donor families say that donation helps with their grief and they feel enormous pride, knowing that their relative went on to save lives after they died – giving others the chance of a new beginning.

“So please talk to your relatives and tell them that you want to donate should you be in a position to do so, and that you want them to support your decision to save lives after your death.”

Angela adds: “Start a conversation today and help turn an end into a beginning. Join the NHS Organ Donor Register and make sure you tell your friends and family your decision.”

Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23. Share your decision with your friends, using hashtag #YesIDonate

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