Coleraine Borough Council and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust held an event at Causeway Hospital, Coleraine last Wednesday to remember those within the Borough who have donated organs.
Three people die every day whilst they wait for organs in the UK. At present 32% of the Northern Ireland population is signed up to the National Health Service Organ Donor Register. There are currently 155 patients waiting on a life saving organ transplant in Northern Ireland. Since 2010 there have been 10 donors within the Borough of Coleraine whose honourable donations have transformed the lives of 29 people.
A number of speakers were present at the event, including members of the public who have received an organ transplant and as a result of this have went on to live a longer and fuller life. The event ended with the unveiling of a memorial bench donated by Coleraine Borough Council which is situated within the hospital gardens.
Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor George Duddy attended the event, he commented, “This commemorative event highlighted the generosity of those within the Borough. It is a very honourable act to choose to donate organs and I highly commend all those who donated to result in the lives of 29 people being lengthened and enriched.
“With only 32% of Northern Ireland’s population on the Organ Donation register I urge residents of the Borough, if you have not yet registered, please consider doing so.
Furthermore this event highlighted the excellent work Causeway Hospital do in harvesting these much needed organs and I would like to thank them for their diligence and dedication.”
Mary McAfee, Organ Donation Specialist Nurse for the Northern Trust, said: ‘I’m delighted to see Coleraine Council get behind organ donation and recognise those individuals and families in the area who have transformed the lives of other people. It is fitting that those families have been recognised so publically.
Evidence shows that consent rates increase where families have discussed organ donation wishes so I would encourage other families in the area to have the conversation. One person can save the lives of up to seven people through organ donation but we need more people to have the conversation and to sign up to the organ donation register.’
If you are interested in becoming an organ donor you can add your name to the Organ Donation Register by calling NHS Donor Line 0300 123 23 23 or visiting www.organdonationni.info/. For further information visit www.colerainebc.gov.uk or telephone 028 7034 7034.