As some of you will know, ten years ago I lost my sister, Vivienne to Cystic Fibrosis at the age of 33. She had a lifelong battle with the illness and was finally put onto the transplant list for a heart and lung transplant when she was around 30. Her time left was running out and finding a perfect match was crucial. She waited for around 2 and a half years as there were not many suitable matches available. In this time she had a few false alarms, donor lungs came in but for various reasons, they weren’t suitable. Time started to tick on and we all started to doubt she would get her lungs in time. After nearly 3 years on the transplant list, she finally got her call, the match had come in, she would be going ahead with the operation, at last! However, I’m sad to say this story doesn’t have a happy ending. She went ahead with the transplant, but by this point she was too weak to continue and the new lungs just didn’t take to her body. She passed away on 7th August 2003.
Family Christmas – From the left: Viv, me, Mum, with Dad at the front
Since then I have been heavily involved with the CF Trust and try and promote the work they do and fundraise where I can. I was so pleased to be recently contacted by the lovely people in charge of National Transplant Week, to be involved with their very worthy cause which aims to spread the word about how important it is that we all sign up for the NHS Organ Donation Register and why.
They had a fun idea on how bloggers could spread the word and asked me to ‘Spell it out’ as to why I have decided to sign up to be on the Organ Donation Register and my own personal reasons why. I was tagged with the letter ‘o’ as part of the ‘#SpellitOut’ campaign, so today I’m going to be talking about organs.
So, as you can see this is such an important topic to me, I wonder everyday as to whether if she had got her transplant sooner she would still be alive today.
- Just 45% of families agree to organ donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor but this figure rises to 95% when they know the decision
Please, if you do one thing today, I ask you to think about it and speak with your family and loved ones about it too. I know it’s a tricky subject and no one likes to think about these things, but it is so very, very important and may one day save your life or someone close to you.
Signing up is so easy, you can either the Transplant Week website, or call 0300 123 2323
I can’t wait to read the other bloggers posts, it’s been a really nice way to ‘spell out’ a really difficult topic. You can also support National Transplant Week by giving them a ‘like’ on Facebook or a follow on Twitter, they will be posting all of the bloggers posts and ‘#SpellitOut’ messages.
The next blogger in line is BabyGotBake with the letter ‘n’ – check her out!