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Article date - 31 August 2018
Councils, business and universities around the country are illuminating their buildings in pink, the colour of the country’s Yes I Donate organ donation campaign, to inspire people to tell their families that they want to donate.
Nationally, three people die every day in need of an organ. There are 15 people in St Helens on the transplant waiting list, with 100 across Merseyside.
In St Helens there are currently 66,937 people in the borough signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, with 484,367 across Merseyside. This means they have agreed for their organs to be donated after their death if they should die in circumstances where donation is possible.
However, people need to tell their family to help ensure their family supports their decision when they are approached about donation by a specialist nurse in hospital.
Families will always be approached about donation if a loved one can donate their organs. Knowing what their loved one wanted helps families support their decision at a difficult time.
Glenn and Becky Youens, the parents of Violet-Grace Youens, who died aged four in March 2017 after being struck by a hit-and-run driver, have been vocal in their support of organ donation.
Despite their grief, the family chose to donate Violet-Grace’s organs, saving two lives.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Better Health and Building Arts & Culture, Councillor Gill Neal said: “Organ Donation Week is an incredibly important campaign, which I’m happy to support with the lighting of the Steve Prescott Bridge. Organ donation is something we need to talk with our families about, but often don’t, which sadly leads to many lost opportunities every year.
“I’d encourage everyone to think about their wishes and talk about them openly with their families, helping others to support your decision at the most difficult time.”
Anthony Clarkson, Interim Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “It’s brilliant of St Helens to show its support for Organ Donation Week. The modern organ donor card is pink and it certainly gets conversations going.
“We’d like people in St Helens to just talk to their families. Words save lives. Please, tell your family you want to save lives through organ donation, because it could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”
Millions of people are already on the NHS Organ Donor Register, join them today and tell your family you want to save lives. Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Residents in St Helens can also show their support for organ donation and help get others talking about organ donation.
· download a digital organ donor card onto your mobile phone screen so your friends and family can see you support organ donation
· share social media posts from @NHSOrganDonor on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram