Words Save Lives. Let’s get talking about organ donation


Do your family know whether you want to be an organ donor? Have you ever talked about organ donation with them?

If the answer is no, then you’re not alone; sadly, many donation opportunities are lost every year because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not. Family support is crucial to enable donations to take place.

We need more people to talk about organ donation to increase the number of transplants that happen.  There is a real shortage of organs in Northern Ireland.  At the end of May, 135 people here were waiting on a transplant

There’s no time like the present, talk about it today. Talking about your organ donation decisions makes it easier for your family to support your decision and for you to support theirs.

You could help someone waiting for that vital call, by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and by telling your family.

Millions of people are on the NHS Organ Donor Register already but only one in every hundred will die in circumstances where they could donate, so every donor is precious.

Tips to start a conversation:

  • Try using an organ donation and transplantation news article in the media or on social media
  • Share an interesting fact or statistic about organ donation, you could start with “Did you know, one person could save or improve up to nine lives by donating their organs?”
  • Explain how donating your organs and tissues will improve, or even save lives.
  • Tell them how you arrived at the decision to donate your organs.
  • Personal stories are really powerful – refer to a real life story on our website about how organ donation has changed someone’s life can help trigger a conversation.
  • Use a common myth as a prompt for discussion.
  • Use an everyday situation to set the scene – these might include: the next time you sit down for a family dinner, getting life insurance/writing a will, celebrating a family anniversary or other special occasion, getting a check-up at the doctors etc.
  • Ask a family member if they have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register, and if not, would they like to donate their organs when they die?

Watch our videos about organ donation

Mary McAfee, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation who is based at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, talks about organ donation and the importance of speaking to your loved ones about your wishes.

Steve Carter talks about having to make the difficult decision to donate his wife’s organs and the comfort he gets from knowing she saved 5 lives through organ donation.

Lucia talks about having 3 liver transplants and about the importance of speaking to your family about your wishes regarding being an organ donor.

Jeremey and Alexia talk about their personal experience of having to make the decision to donate their son’s organs after he had an accident, and how it has given them some comfort in their terrible grief.

Alan Shields talks about his personal experience of needing a liver transplant and of organ donation.

Paul Johnston, Intensive Care Consultant and Clincal Lead talks about organ donation and the importance of talking to your family about your wishes.

For more information visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or phone 0300 123 23 23. Further information about organ donation is also available on the Northern Trust website.





2nd October 2018

Share this page

Email Icon Print Icon

Investors In People