Transplant boy’s parents call for more organ donors

Evan Goodbrand's parents have urged more people to sign up to the organ donor register. Picture: Rob McDougall
Evan Goodbrand's parents have urged more people to sign up to the organ donor register. Picture: Rob McDougall
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THE parents of a 10-year-old boy who received a life-saving liver transplant as a baby are urging more people to join the organ donor register.

Evan Goodbrand, from Bishopbriggs, was just nine months old when he underwent an operation to treat the life-threatening condition biliary atresia.

If you support organ donation but haven’t got round to joining the NHS Organ Donor Register yet, I can’t encourage you to do so enough

Karen Goodbrand

His mother and father, Karen and Paul, said he is the “living proof” of the difference organ donations can make as they kicked off a week of events to boost the numbers on the NHS register.

Organ Donation Scotland is aiming to attract 2,015 new registrations this week, and said it takes only five minutes to sign up.

Doctors said every registration “could potentially save a life” and give hope to the 560 people in Scotland who are currently waiting for a transplant operation.

Mrs Goodbrand said: “If you look at Evan now, compared to when he was a few months old, you wouldn’t believe it was the same boy. He’s living proof of the amazing impact organ donation can have on someone’s life.

“He’s so full of energy and is always running about and playing. He’s on a low dosage of medication and has to get check-ups every 12 weeks, but apart from that, he’s just like any other wee boy his age.

“Evan’s transplant was the most wonderful gift we could ever receive. It didn’t just change his life - it changed the lives of everyone in our family. We’re all so grateful to the donor for giving Evan this second chance at life. I can’t even put into words what it’s meant for us all.

“If you support organ donation but haven’t got round to joining the NHS Organ Donor Register yet, I can’t encourage you to do so enough. It only takes a few minutes but can make such a difference to a family like ours.”

Around 40 per cent of eligible people in Scotland are already registered as donors but experts said there is not enough to meet demand.

Professor John Forsythe, lead clinician for organ donation and transplantation in Scotland, said: “Every time a family doesn’t know their loved one’s wishes, a truly precious opportunity could be wasted.

“Although transplant rates in Scotland have increased, there are still not enough organs to meet the current need.

“A family member is twice as likely to agree to donation if they know it’s what the person would have wanted. That’s why each registration to the NHS Organ Donor Register and every family conversation really counts.

“Evan’s story is testament to why organ donation and transplantation is so important. If you support organ donation, make this the week you express it.”