Organ Donation Week
Mon, 07 Sep 2020

Council staff are being asked to think about their choices during Organ Donation Week, which runs from September 7-13.

Library assistant Ruth Hodge's partner Tim died suddenly in 2018 but the decision to donate his organs meant that four people received a transplant.

Ruth said: "I would like Organ Donation Week to get families talking about organ donation.

"I appreciate it is a difficult subject to think about and discuss but please let your family know your intentions. 

"The law on organ donation changed in May this year and all the details are available on the internet, but families can still change a decision.

"If Tim and I and his family had known his wishes, it would have made our choice clearer."

Tim suffered a brain aneurism, aged 51. His family members were asked to consider donating his organs, and Ruth gave consent. Rapid searches began throughout the country to find matching recipients. 

Ruth said that it was 'one of the most momentous decisions' of her life, but she 'instinctively knew organ donation was the right thing to do.

She regularly receives letters from the lady who received Tim's liver.

"When I consider what the outcome would have been if I had said 'no' to organ donation, it makes me shudder," Ruth added.

"The lady who writes to me would have died, two other ladies would have had to wait longer for a kidney transplant - one had been waiting for one year and one for four years. A man would not have received a double lung transplant.

"I also agreed to tissue donation which meant Tim was also able to donate his tendons, bone and heart and eye tissue in order to help other recipients."

Last year, Ruth attended a ceremony to accept The Order of St John Award for Organ Donation on behalf of Tim.

The ceremony honoured those patients who donated their organs for the purpose of transplantation following their death.

When asked to consider donating Tim's organs, Ruth with the consent of other family members, decided some good had to come out of this tragedy and chose to donate.


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