Seeing families suffer is reason to become a donor
A SPECIALIST nurse has said people "wouldn't think twice" about becoming organ donors if they could see what families of those who die while waiting for a transplant go through.
Caroline Whitton, a Cystic Fibrosis Specialist nurse at Derriford Hospital, is backing The Herald's Gift of Life campaign and urging people to sign the Organ Donor Register.
The Herald launched its campaign, with the support of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, in memory of Jon Paul Oxley, from Chaddlewood, who died from chronic cystic fibrosis at the beginning of September as he waited for a lung transplant that never came.
Caroline was one of the nurses who treated Jon Paul up until he passed away.
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She said: "The Herald's campaign is amazing, but let's aim for even more than another 1,000 donors – let's aim higher!
"Organ donation makes such a massive difference to families like Jon Paul's. If people could see what they go through when their loved one doesn't get an organ in time they wouldn't think twice about becoming a donor.
"Organs are hard to come by. Some people even decide not to go down the transplant route because they know the waiting game will be too much for them.
"It's awful to see someone die before their transplant comes – having to see their families suffer is awful.
"Seeing what Jon Paul went through was bad enough but seeing what his family went through after made it 10 times harder.
"For any parent to lose a child at such a young age is terrible, it's not fair. It potentially could have been a different outcome for Jon Paul if there were more people on the register.
"Any one of us could need an organ – none of us know what the future holds. I can understand why people have reasons not to be on the register but I would urge them to think about if they could stand by and watch a loved one die."
Caroline said she thought Jon Paul would love the campaign and the fact people are working to push organ donation, something he was keen to bring to light throughout his life.
She said: "If Jon Paul knew his death was helping others he would be so happy. I remember the first time he got a call to say lungs had become available. Then when he got there the lungs were given to another patient. He wrote him a note to wish him good luck. When most people might have been angry and upset Jon Paul was selfless and thinking of others. That's why we've got to get more people on that register."
Join The Herald's Gift of Life campaign and play your part in helping to save a life.
The campaign aims to inspire another 1,000 city people to sign the donor register.
By visiting www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/giftoflife you can read all about the campaign and join up.
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