Organ donation, it’s like Marmite I think you either want to do it or you don’t and it’s not much use sitting on the fence and being a maybe as by the time they come and ask you’re on a life support machine unable to give them an answer.
Personally I think it’s a good idea and have put my details on the donor register although I was not sure if there would be anything they might want to use of my body but having done some research with the assistance of Mr Google I find that us older folk can donate worthwhile organs.
I was surprised to find that nearly a third of 16 to 25 year olds are signed up and a quarter of 25 to 35 year olds are, but only 16% of people over 55 are signed up, which leaves me to encourage anyone who should happen to read this and is over 55 and not signed up please do so as you’re letting the side down on behalf of us older people.
It turns out that in total there are 23 organs that can be donated which came as somewhat of a surprise to me as I had no idea I had that many to start with, plus the fact that you can donate tissue such as skin, bone and tendons, so all in all quite a full menu for them to choose from.
Rather surprisingly it seems that organs have been successfully transplanted from people in their 70’s and 80’s with the oldest cornea donor being 104 years old, the more I’m delving into this subject the more sprightly I’m feeling, I must have loads of things that would be of use.
Apparently even if you have signed up for the donor register your relatives can overturn your decision which seems a shame but obviously when people are grief stricken at losing a loved one that moment in time is for some not going to be the time for cold rational decision making.
At this point I have to admit to a certain bias with regard to this argument as some twenty four years ago my young nephew was an organ donor at the tragically young age of nine following an unfortunate road accident.
He was in hospital for ten days following the accident undergoing tests which sadly resulted in him being declared brain dead whereupon the doctors asked his mother and father if they would give their consent to him becoming an organ donor.
His mother said she was unsure what to do but then remembered watching a television program with him which involved the operation to separate two conjoined twins where one of them sadly died, she was somewhat upset until her son pointed out that the other twin had survived.
This was enough to convince her to talk to her husband and together they decided to allow the donation of their son’s organs which went on to save the lives of four other young people.
When I started writing this blog I had intended it to be a topical news item but in fact it turned out to be a tribute to the short life of James Somerville Wells and to the bravery of his parents Brian and Susan Wells.