Lack of donors leads to lost lives

By Ian Dipple Friday 15 February 2013 Updated: 15/02 15:01

Latest News

Buy photos » Michael Amies is urging more people to register as organ donors. Picture by Nick Hands 1209046NHR2

MORE than 30 people across Worcestershire have lost their lives while waiting for an organ transplant, prompting calls for more people to register as donors.

Figures released to the Standard by NHS Blood and Transplant show there are currently 120 people across the county waiting for a life-saving transplant.

But a shortage of donors means in the last five years 33 people have lost their lives while waiting for a transplant, with almost half of those needing a kidney.

Among them was Michael Amies' adopted daughter Catherine who died at the Worcestershire Royal in 2010 aged 38. She had suffered from diabetes since the age of ten and had been waiting about two years for a kidney and pancreas transplant.

Her organs were used to save the lives of several people after her death but Mr Amies only found out she was a donor after she had died.

Since then he and his wife Elisabeth have been working to make organ donation a usual rather than unusual event, by encouraging more people to join the donor register and working with NHS Blood and Transplant and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to increase the number of organs made available for transplant.

Mr Amies, who is chairman of the Trust's organ donation committee, said one of the main barriers stopping organ donation was people did not talk about it so even if someone was on the list, the family of the deceased often did not consent.

"It came as a surprise to us, we were amazed someone with such a chequered medical history wanted to donate but looking back we are so pleased she did because she saved the lives of two or three people," he said.

"One of the things we encourage donors to do is talk to their families about it because in the dark hours of the morning when you are dealing with the loss of a loved one and you then have to go through this as well it is like a double whammy."

Over the last five years the number of organs available for donation has increased from 7 to 30 making Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust one of the best performing in the region. But although there are 189,103 living in the Worcestershire postcode area, the county still lags behind the national average.

Mr Amies said the main reason people gave for not joining the donor register was a lack of time but he was not keen on the introduction of automatic enrolment and asking people to opt out.

"It is much better if it comes as a gift," he said.

"One person can save up to 11 other people and everybody can give something, even a 100-year-old woman can give her corneas to give someone the gift of sight.

"We can't change the world, but we can change what happens in Worcestershire."

Visit, call 0300 123 23 23 or text SAVE to 84118 for more information on becoming an organ donor.

Share This

Popular »

1 Liz aint half going for the marathon

2 Bard marathon will be a first

3 Disabled mans bedroom tax story shocks minister

4 Lifesavers like driving in their car

5 Redditch man wanted by police

More news »

Councillors turn down pay rise

COUNCILLORS have voted against proposals to increase their

Men deny attempting to steal diesel

POLICE found two 1,000 litre liquid containers and

Redditch HMV to close

REDDITCH's HMV store will close within the next

Apprentice scheme reaches halfway

A SCHEME to take on 50 new apprentices

Regional news »

Bromsgrove Standard
New Bromsgrove vicar is licensed at St John's Church

MORE THAN 200 people turned out to see the new ...

Worcester Observer

Visit the Worcester Observer website for the latest.

Stratford Observer
Wootton Wawen Bluebell Walk returns

THE SPECTACULAR Wootton Wawen Bluebell Walk is back this Bank ...

Evesham Observer
Diggerland on the way to Evesham

EVESHAM will play host to the only Diggerland adventure theme ...