Organ donors urged to sign up

HEALTH chiefs have launched a fresh plea for people to make their organs available for transplant following their death.

Three people die each day in the UK waiting on a transplant and there are 600 waiting for a transplant in Scotland.

The NHS says that Scotland continues to lead the way in terms of the number of people signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register – but say more are needed.

Statistics show that 96 per cent of people would accept an organ – but only 40 percent of Scots have confirmed they will make their organs available.

The debate continues as to whether organ donation should be an opt-in or an opt-on choice. At the moment it is an opt-in scheme.

Organs from one person have the ability to save seven lives. John Forsythe, Scotland’s lead clinician for organ donation and transplantation, commented: “In our society, nobody likes talking about death. There is a taboo about the subject.

“However, those who have elected to join the NHS Organ Donor Register or who have spoken with their families about organ donation at the time of death, make a 
most generous decision which allows others to live.

“Due to the generosity of the Scottish people, organ donor numbers are increasing and allowing more life-saving transplants. But there is much still to do as people wait on lists for their chance to get a transplant.”

David Speers from Aberdeen was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure during a routine medical examination in 2009 and now requires life-saving dialysis four times every day.

David, whose wife Linda gave birth to daughter Zoe in December last year, remains on the waiting list for a suitable donation.

He said: “My whole focus since then has been on my daughter Zoe. When she was born it was amazing, the best moment of our lives. We have so much hope, plans and excitement for the future. Zoe puts it all into perspective; both Zoe and Linda are my inspiration and energy for life, I’m not going to let this beat me.

“My story is not unique or special; I am just a normal guy, with a positive outlook on life, a loving wife and daughter, while also waiting on a life-changing transplant.

“There are so many people waiting on transplants and coping with a lot more than me, if from reading this, just one extra person joins the NHS Organ Donor Register then I have achieved something.”

With the likelihood of a person needing an organ transplant being greater than the likelihood of someone actually becoming an organ donor, Scots are being urged by the NHS to make their wishes known by talking to their family and adding their name to the register to help those in desperate need of a second chance at life.

To find out more about organ donation and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit or text LIFE to 61611.