National Transplant Week 

10/07/2012 00:00 

The event will take place at the University College Hospital atrium between 9am and 1pm on Thursday 12 July.


A bereaved husband who made the courageous decision to donate his wife’s organs for transplant will be sharing his personal experiences with staff and patients.

The NHS Transplant Week campaign encourages people to sign  up to the NHS organ donor register – and to talk about or 'pass on' their intentions to friends and family.

Patrick Collins will be joining an event to raise awareness about organ donation, as part of the NHS National Transplant Week (9-15 July).

It is being held in the UCH atrium on Thursday 12 July from 9am -1pm and is an opportunity for staff, patients and the public to talk to specialist nurses and members of the Trust’s organ donation committee about the issue.

When Mr Collins’ wife Kate died unexpectedly at the NHNN following a brain haemorrhage aged just 56, he and his three grown-up sons took some comfort in the knowledge that her organs would give life to others. He was supported throughout the process by specialist nurses at UCLH.

Almost 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant - of these around 1,000 will die waiting as there are not enough organs available with three people dying everyday whilst on the transplant waiting list. Only 29% of the public have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register

Mr Collins, who is now a member of the Trust’s organ donation committee, said: “I recently heard that Kate’s heart valve, which had been in storage for the past three years, has just been transplanted into a four year old girl. It doesn’t take away the shock and pain but it helped – and still helps – to hear that something good has come out of our loss.

Mr Collins with his late wife Kate

“Kate was a great mother and my best friend. We met on our first day at infants’ school and had a blissfully happy marriage. That’s more than most men ever have. I am grateful for that and for the fact that organ donation has helped others. It means a lot to me and my boys and helps us to remain positive.”

The Trust’s organ donation team send regular updates to Mr Collins about the organ recipients: a young mother who underwent a double lung transplant is “enjoying life with her two children”, and two men who received life-changing liver and kidney transplants “remain well.”

Mr Collins, a Brent Council worker from Sudbury, said: “It was all so unexpected. We had never talked about organ donation. Kate was very fit and healthy and I always assumed I would go before her.”

Sarah Jones, UCLH specialist nurse for organ donation, said:” We want to give people information about the issue and encourage them to view it as an option which they can talk over with their loved ones. It is not a subject we should shy away from.

“Often people will sign up to the donor register but do not tell their families. The first they may know about it is when they are in a state of bereavement. This event will be an opportunity for people to ask questions and reflect on the issue.”

The NHS Transplant Week campaign encourages people to sign  up to the NHS organ donor register – and to talk about or 'pass on' their intentions to friends and family.

For more information about National Transplant Week and to sign up to the donor register click here.


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