‘Be A Hero’ and sign the Organ Donor Register

It’s National Transplant Week this week (7-13 September), and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, a key university partner, is encouraging people to ‘Be A Hero’ and sign the Organ Donor Register.

Press Officer, Ben Jones (on the left!)

Ben jones

The ‘Be A Hero’ campaign has been backed by some of the county’s favourite sons, including cricketers Geoffrey Boycott and Joe Root, actor Patrick Stewart and Leeds United FC. The campaign has also received ‘royal assent’ from the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson.

The importance of organ donation cannot be overstated. Every year in the UK around a thousand people die waiting for a transplant. Last year, over 100 people in Yorkshire donated an organ after their death – but it’s still not enough. There are nearly 800 people in Yorkshire currently waiting for a lifesaving organ.

Dr Simon Flood, clinical lead for organ donation at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It only takes two minutes to sign the organ donation register but the difference it makes to people’s lives is enormous. One donor can save the lives of nine people. We are really keen that even more people in Yorkshire will Be a Hero in transplant week. It is fantastic that the University of Leeds is backing our campaign.”

One person who has felt the benefit of organ donation is Ben Jones, a press officer in the University’s central Communications team, who received a living donor kidney from his sister Simone in 2008, after his kidneys failed due to kidney disease.

The kidney, which recently passed its eighth ‘birthday’, is still going strong and Ben said: “I would urge everyone to think very strongly about the amazing gift of organ donation – it saves lives.

“My quality of life has improved massively since I had my transplant. Before that, I had to have dialysis treatment in hospital and it gets in the way of having a normal life: you’re very restricted in what you can eat and drink, and between dialysis sessions you can feel exhausted.

“My sister’s kidney gave me a new lease of life.”

You can sign the Organ Donor Register online. It takes two minutes, and could save a life. For more information on the ‘Be A Hero’ campaign, visit here.

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