The New Fat – 20 Year Activity – NHS Organ Donation List

As part of The New Fat’s 20 Year Celebrations one of our Graphic Designers Jamie, is aiming to get 20+ people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donation list. This is something that is particularly close to his heart as his own father Tony celebrates his first anniversary after receiving his Liver Transplant.

How to sign up
For more information on becoming a donor and to sign up please visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

Background
Jamie’s father Tony retired early from Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service due to ill health at the age of 54. It became apparent in September 2017 that the cause of this was an uncommon chronic liver disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), a slow progressing autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the liver. At present there is no known cure for this disease and it had already caused significant damage to Tony’s liver.

After various tests it was concluded that the only option was a full liver transplant and Tony was added to the Transplant list in June 2018. This was a stressful and worrying time for the family as due to the current waiting times there can be a fine balance between being fit enough to have a transplant and becoming too ill to survive the operation, becoming ineligible for a transplant.

On September 2nd 2018 Tony received the call to say a liver had become available and to travel to Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge. Unfortunately after further tests the donor liver was deemed unacceptable for a transplant, so the family headed home feeling a bit dejected. Thankfully just 12 days later another call was received and after a 10 hour operation Tony received a liver transplant. A four week stay in hospital was required due to some complications but Tony was finally sent home and 12 months on his new liver is doing great and he is finally able to enjoy his retirement.

Why should you sign up to the transplant list?
Simply, one small act of kindness can benefit multiple lives.

Thousands of lives can be saved every year in the UK but we still need more people to sign up. Jamie’s experiences of being in hospitals when his father was ill highlighted to him that there are many people sat waiting desperately for a transplant right now and if more people were to sign up, the wait times could be dramatically reduced.

From Spring 2020 the organ donation law in England is changing to an ‘opt out’ system.

This is great news, but some suggest if you willingly sign up to the donor list your preference to donate is deemed stronger than that of presumed consent. Also families may feel the wishes of their loved ones are more ambiguous compared to opt-in systems, leading to a higher risk of family refusal.

Jamie had this to say, “I think its great that an opt-in system is coming but why wait until spring next year? There are people sat right now, in the UK, who are desperately waiting for a life changing call to say an organ is available. I will be number 1 of the 20 people I aim to get signed up to the donor list and never knowing what is round the corner, I take some comfort knowing that if the unforeseen was to happen to me today and I was to die, that my choice could not only save multiple lives but also improve the lives of the recipients families. I will forever be grateful for the decision the kind person who sadly lost their life made which saved the life of my father”

How to sign up
For more information on becoming a donor and to sign up please visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

It only takes 5 minutes to register, plus it would be great if you could send us a quick email / text to let us know so we can measure what impact we’ve all made!

Jamie will also be making a £20 donation to British Liver Trust who do incredible work to improve liver health and support those affected by liver disease and cancer.

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