Seven words can help save the lives of seven people.
By saying, “I’d like to be an organ donor” you can help someone live after your death.
It’s not a subject people like to talk about, but ask any family whose loved one’s organs breathed life into someone else and they will say they are heroes and that the selfless act has helped them cope better with the passing.
Every day three people die in the UK waiting for a transplant, but these deaths could be avoided if more of us signed up to become a donor.
The likelihood of someone needing an organ transplant is greater than the likelihood of someone actually becoming an organ donor.
Despite a massive 96 per cent of people surveyed saying they would be only too glad to accept a vital organ to stay alive, statistics are against those who need them now as only 40 per cent of Scots have joined the Organ Donor Register to help give someone a second chance at life.
Scotland needs to increase the number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register to help the 600 people in Scotland who are still waiting.
Recent figures show we continue to lead the way in terms of the number of people signed up but more needs to be done.
John Forsythe, Scotland’s lead clinician for organ donation and transplantation, said: “In our society, nobody likes talking about death. There is a taboo about the subject.
“However, those who have elected to join the NHS Organ Donor Register or who have spoken with their families about organ donation at the time of death, make a most generous decision which allows others to live.”
For families and possible recipients of organs it can be a long wait for organs from a suitable donor but, once one is found, a life-saving operation can be done in as little as 12 hours.
NHS recipient cardiac transplant co-ordinator Jane Lockhart, who covers the Forth Valley area, said: “A typical operation is between six and eight hours long before recovery in the national services pod where people receive one-to-one care, education and rehabilitation.
“The usual stay is around three to four weeks, but people are much healthier with their new heart and they are monitored every six weeks for the first year.
“After that it’s every three months then every six months of what can be a very long life.”
Scots are now being urged to make their wishes known by talking to their family and loved ones and adding their name to the Register to help those in desperate need. To find out more visit www.organdonationscotland.org or text LIFE to 61611.