Saturday, August 6, 2011
Transplant Child Patients Real Stars Of Belfast Games
Seeing them enjoying themselves as they took part in a range of sporting activities, it was difficult to imagine they had been just months, weeks or even hours from death, before having their transplants. The Games are useful in promoting healthy lifestyles for transplant patients, including raising awareness about the importance of organ donation.
Currently, Northern Ireland has 292 people waiting for an organ transplant that could well save their lives, with 249 waiting for a kidney, one for a pancreas, 11 who are in need of both kidney and pancreas, two for a heart, 10 for lungs and 19 for a new liver.
While, around half a million people have registered to donate their organs when they die, the figure represents less than a third of the population. Junior Minister Jonathan Bell, called on everyone in Northern Ireland to sign up to the register, during the opening ceremony of the Games Thursday evening.
He told about his meeting with a six year old boy who had received a new kidney and on seeing how well he was doing after the transplant, Bell said he understood the importance of registering as a donor.
Organ donation has become a major talking point in political circles, so much so, the Welsh Government hopes to introduce a legislation to change the law of consent to pass on organs when we die.