An appeal for people to join the organ donation register has been launched as the number in Forth Valley is lower than the national average.
Despite the number of people who have pledged to give their organs rising in the local health board area to 37.5 per cent of the population, it is still well below the Scottish average of 40 per cent.
NHS Forth Valley consultant Dr Helen Tyler, who works in intensive care at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, has joined the campaign to try and increase the amount of people willing to donate their organs to save other lives once they have passed away.
The death of Dr Tyler’s cousin Caroline (19), a medical student who never regained consciousness after being hit by a lorry, helped save another life when her heart and both kidneys were donated to a student of the same age on the transplant list.
Her father-in-law has also benefitted from two kidney transplants.
“It was in line with her wishes and gave her family the knowledge they had done one last thing for her,” Dr Tyler said. “She had been training to be a doctor and always wanted to help someone. Through donating her organs they believed she had achieved that. It gave them some sort of hope that they could take from a really devastating event.”
NHS Forth Valley organ donation lead, Dr Mark Worsley, says it is vital for people to talk about organ donation.
He said: “Age is no barrier to becoming an organ or tissue donor, nor are most medical conditions. People in their 70s and 80s have become organ donors and saved many lives, whilst the oldest recorded cornea donor was 104 years old.”
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit www.organdonationscotland.org.