Families mark Organ Donation Week

Organ donation plaque, designed by pupils at Witton Park Academy, is unveiled.

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust hosted a special event to mark Organ Donation Week.

Families of organ donors and recipients gathered at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital for the grand reveal of an organ donation plaque which was specially designed by the pupils of Witton Park Academy.

The event, which was organised by ELHT’s Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Deborah Vernon and members of the trust organ donation committee, served as homage to the donors whose decision had saved many lives. There have been 25 recipients of organs from eight donors who may not be alive today if it hadn’t been for organ donation from ELHT.

The plaque design, which shows the silhouette of two people holding a heart with the quote, ‘have a heart, save a life’ has been put up near the Main Entrance of Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital with the hope of encouraging conversations about organ donation.

The family of Adam Rogers, who died in 2009, also attended to show their support and share their experience: "Knowing what his wishes were was so important to us", said Adam’s mum Pat, who supported Adam’s decision to be a donor.

"The experience of waiting for the organs to be harvested was strange but somewhat lovely as it gave us extra time with him, and extra time for us and Adam’s friends to say goodbye."

Five recipients benefited from Adam’s donation, one of which had previously been too ill to start a family of his own. However, after receiving Adam’s liver and pancreas he recovered enough to start a family, and now has a seven year old daughter: "I is comforting to think that this was all possible thanks to Adam’s gift" said Pat.

Professor Damian Riley, ELHT Executive Medical Director spoke to families before the grand reveal to thank them for having the courage to support the decisions of their loved ones.

He said: "This was an emotional day for many families but by supporting organ donation their loved ones have given the gift of life to someone else."

To find out more information on registering to be a donor, you can go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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