Transplant patient's Christmas plea: talk to your family about organ donation

THE GUARDIAN | Sarah Boseley

With hundreds waiting for heart transplants, experts and patients urge public to register as organ donors – and make their wishes clear to family members

Jim Lynskey on his 22nd birthday, October 2017, following the failure of the artificial pump that keeps his heart going while he waits for a transplant. Photograph: Courtesy of the Lynskey family
Families are being urged to talk about becoming an organ donor in the hope that more people on the waiting list for a heart transplant will be given the chance of life.

Since last Christmas Day, 31 people have died on the heart transplant waiting list, according to NHS Blood and Transplant. To try to tackle the shortage of organs, the government has recently announced a consultation into an “opt-out” scheme. Everybody would be assumed to be willing to donate their organs unless they had signed up to a register to say no.

But the situation is critical now for people like 22-year-old Jim Lynskey from Birmingham, whose heart failed as a result of meningitis, which he contracted as a child. He has an artificial pump to keep his heart going while he waits for a transplant. But last October, it unexpectedly failed. Continue reading

You have the power to SAVE lives.  Register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor
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To ensure your gift is honored, share your donation wishes with family and friends