Over half of population yet to join in Wales’ biggest conversation about their organ donation decision
The Organ donation system in Wales has changed yet more than half of the Welsh population (52%) are still to share their organ donation decision. Yesterday (17 July 2016), marked the launch of the next phase in the Organ Donation Wales campaign: ‘Time to talk about organ donation’ to remind people of the new system and encourage them to share their organ donation decision with those closest to them.
Vaughan Gething, the new Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport explains:
“Wales has had a new organ donation system since December 2015 – people can choose to opt out, opt in or do nothing. We know that this message has already hit home with 74% of people being aware of the new system, yet only 47% have gone on to share their organ donation decision with loved ones. Our new campaign phase launching today aims to kick start getting our nation talking about organ donation and sharing its decision with loved ones.”
Gwenllian Boyns (18) from Ruthin in Denbighshire, and one of the faces of the new Organ Donation Wales campaign, knows first-hand the importance of talking to loved ones about organ donation decisions. When her mum, Elen Meirion, died suddenly in 2012 at the age of just 43, it was her only child, Gwenllian, who knew of her mum’s decision to become an organ donor. Gwenllian explains:
"Losing mam was a nightmare and I miss her each and every day. It was a real tragedy and a very difficult time for my family and me. Mam was a lovely, kind and sincere person who enjoyed singing and music of all kinds. Our home was a bright and happy place.
"When the Specialist Nurse Organ Donation broached the subject of donating mam's organs, I knew exactly what she wanted because of our previous conversations around the subject. Mam, like many other people, hadn't yet signed the NHS Organ Donor Register but as we'd talked about it, I knew her feelings and what she wanted. I'd urge other families to discuss this important but sensitive subject, as no-one knows what's waiting for them round the corner."
Elen Meirion was a primary school teacher at Ysgol Pen Barras in Ruthin and was the sister of the well-known opera singer Rhys Meirion.
The ‘Time to talk about organ donation‘ campaign will be supported with radio, bus, train, cinema and digital advertising as well as supported through Wales’ network of campaign partners.
To find out more information on organ donation and living donation visit organ donation Wales (external link)
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