Somewhere in Britain today, three people will die because of a lack of organ donors. For them, quite simply, time has run out.
This was one of the stark facts outlined to members of Wealden Business Group by Annie Wiltshire, one of WBG’s guest speakers.
Annie founded The Daniel Wiltshire Foundation last year to increase awareness of the need for more organ donors, and help people understand the action needed to ensure a donor’s wishes cannot be over-ruled by their families.
She was inspired to set up the charity after the sudden death of her 39-year-old son Daniel. Fortunately, he had made his wishes clear to his loved ones that he wanted to be an organ donor, and his wishes were honoured – three of his organs were donated, including a kidney for a patient who had been on dialysis for six years.
Annie told the meeting that there are up to 7,000 people at any one time waiting for organ transplants.
She said: “You might carry a donor card, and have added your name to the NHS donor register. But it is not enough.
“Tragically, bereaved families have blocked the donation of organs from more than 500 UK registered donors since 2010.”
The solution to this, she said, is education – helping those who want to donate their organs, and their loved ones, understand that the wishes of the donor are paramount. And explaining to bereaved families how a single donation can save the life of another.
She explained that The Daniel Wiltshire Foundation is raising funds to mount a programme of social media, PR, political lobbying and speaking engagements, with a longer-term aim of purchasing equipment and facilities needed by NHS transplant units.
For further information about The Daniel Wiltshire Foundation visit www.the danielwiltshirefoundation.com