gift of a llife

What’s the greatest gift you can give a stranger?

It is probably the gift of an improved life or even the gift of life itself.

I recently renewed my passport. Amazingly it was 10 years had flown by since I last renewed it – only seems like yesterday.

Funny thing is I look even more like a villain in my new passport than in my previous one. I hope next time I visit the USA they let me in :-).

Along with the new passport came an invitation to become an organ donor. At the time, in my haste to clear the clutter in time for 2007, I binned it.

A few weeks ago, I even discussed this with my friend Suraj Shah,

This morning, something made me go to the organ donation website and I signed up.

The NHS organ donation website explains how more than 8,000 people in the UK need an organ transplant that could save or dramatically improve their life. Most are waiting for a kidney, others for a heart, lung or liver transplant. Out of those waiting for a transplant, 400 patients died in 2006 before they could get one.

Despite all the publicity given to the need for donors, less than 3,000 transplants are carried out each year.

Amazingly, you are more likely to need a transplant than to become a donor.

I spoke to a very chirpy lady in Northern Ireland who was most helpful. Within two minutes I was on the donor list.

You can also decide which organs to donate – apparently they can use most parts of your body. Isn’t it just amazing that your eyes can partially restore the sight of two people one day?

The donor list also needs to know your ethnic origin for speedy matching.

You can withdraw from the list anytime. And be sure to let your close ones know about your wishes

If you already carry a donor card, that is a great start, but to be a registered organ donor you do need to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Transplants are truly a miracle – but as always more donors are needed. Those 8,000 people on the waiting list depend entirely on the generosity of donors and their families who are willing to make this life-saving gift to others.

So the more people who pledge to donate their organs after their death, the more people stand to benefit.

Join the NHS Organ Donor Register today and give the greatest gift you can ever give anyone.

You can also call the NHS Organ Donor Line on 0845 60 60 400

Just think, one day, some day, you will help someone get a life.

heart transplant

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