Scottish Government launch new TV drive to convince more Scots to donate organs
A NEW drive has been launched to encourage more Scots to sign up to donate their organs when they die.
It comes as latest figures show four in ten people in Scotland have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register – the highest percentage in the UK.
But experts say thousands more donors are needed every year to give people waiting for transplants the gift of life.
A new TV and radio campaign has been launched by the Scottish Government to encourage more people to sign up and to get people talking about donating - including telling loved ones they want to donate when they die.
Samantha Bell, of Cambuslang, who had a life-saving heart transplant last year has backed the campaign. She was diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy when she was 22 and last year her heart stopped while she was out for dinner.
Ms Bell, 29, said: “I desperately needed a new heart and doctors moved me onto the urgent heart transplant list. I didn’t have time to wait, if I didn’t get a new heart soon I would die.
“I knew I was seriously ill so I was focusing on the positives. You need to be ill enough for a transplant but well enough to survive the operation and I knew my health was deteriorating.”
The bank worker waited two months for a suitable donor before undergoing the successful transplant last July at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank.
She said: “I know I’ll get back to full fitness again and I have my donor to thank for that. They gave me the gift of life and I can’t thank their family enough.
“Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register is the most amazing thing anyone can do. I would encourage everyone to take two minutes and join now. Remember to let your family know what your wishes are so they can act on them if necessary.”
Latest figures show just over two million people in Scotland are signed up to be organ donors.
But experts say More than 600 people in Scotland are still waiting for a life-saving transplant and across the UK three people die every day because they don’t get the organ they need in time.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: “Samantha’s story is a very real example of how important organ donation is, and how joining the Register could save lives.
“This new campaign has two simple yet equally important messages – join the Register and have a chat about organ donation with your family and loved ones.
“It can be easy to put off such conversations but the reality is that across the UK three people die every day because they don’t get the organ they need in time.
For more information: www.organdonationscotland.org
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