Councils, business, hospitals and community groups around the country are turning their buildings pink, which is the colour of the country’s ‘Yes I Donate’ organ donation campaign, to inspire people to tell their families that they want to be a donor and to register their decision.
Nationally, someone dies every day in need of an organ, and there are almost 7,000 people currently on the active transplant waiting list.
There are currently more than 30 million people in the UK who have registered their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register with more than 27 million of them explicitly agreeing to be an organ donor when they die, but this still only represents around 44% of the UK population.
Even though the law around organ donation has now changed to an ‘opt out’ system across England, Scotland and Wales, family members will still always be involved before organ donation goes ahead. This means it is just as important as ever to register your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and ensure your friends and family know what you want and will support your decision.
Dr Jason Cupitt, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals said: “Organ donation saves lives. It is the most precious act that one person can do for another. We need to talk about it with our friends and families, so that we can make the right decision for everyone at a difficult time. Organ donation week raises awareness and celebrates the gift of life, and remembers both the donors and recipients of organ donation.
“I am looking forward to seeing the iconic Blackpool Tower raising awareness of organ donation. I am certain it will look fabulous and I am sure thousands of people going past will ask questions.
“Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year in Blackpool and the Fylde and around the country because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not.”
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “It’s brilliant of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals to show its support for Organ Donation Week. The modern organ donor card is pink, and it certainly gets conversations going.
“We need people in Blackpool and the Fylde to not only talk to their families about organ donation, but to register their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. This could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”
In addition to the Tower lighting up at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals we will mark this occasion with a special event at the organ donation sculpture near to the main entrance at Blackpool Victoria Hospital at 11am on Friday 30 September. The event will see a wreath laid at the sculpture by Alan and Barbara Neath, and Josephine Haythornthwaite.
Alan and Barbara are the parents of Rosie Neath, a courageous young woman from Blackpool who was born with Cystic Fibrosis and was a transplant patient and an organ donor after passing away in October 2017. There will also be a speech from Josephine, a volunteer at the Trust, who will be making a speech in memory of her late husband John who was an organ donor. The event will celebrate all donors and their families who have given the #GiftOfLife through organ donation.
Blackpool Tower will turn pink on the evening of Friday 30 September between 7.15pm and 11.30pm.
Register your donation decision at www.organdonation.nhs.uk