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By the memory tree

Judith Moore, Chairman of the Organ Donation Committee and Public Governor for Woking and Guildford, shares key messages and reports on the activities from the week.

We marked National Organ Donation week (4th to 10th September) with a display in the Main Entrance at St Peter’s Hospital.

I had the privilege of meeting many people keen to discuss the issues around organ donation and those who have had their lives transformed by the generosity of donors and their families.

It is so vital to highlight signing up to join the national donor register; to encourage organ donation in the community and to talk about end of life wishes with friends and family. End of Life decisions can save lives and give life.

There are currently over 6,000 people in the UK on the waiting list for a transplant. Our dedicated highly specialist team at Ashford and St Peter’s are part of the national effort to boost organ donation.

The week was highlighted by our members’ event – “Let’s Talk About It – your end of life wishes” which was very well supported and a great success.

Over 80 people attended the event and it was brilliant to have the opportunity to openly discuss what is often perceived as a difficult topic.

The more awareness we can raise and the more people who spread the message the better – ultimately the more lives we will be able to save and improve.

The donor week culminated in the Memory Tree event at which family and friends of donors gathered to reflect on their loved ones who had given the gift of life to others. It was a moving event and a testament to their incredible generosity.

 

Amazing Gift of Organ Donation remembered at St. Peter’s

Family members and friends gathered at St Peter’s Hospital on Saturday 9th September, as part of the Organ Donation Week, to remember loved ones who had died and given the gift of life to others by donating their organs and tissues.

They were invited to write a personal message on the back of a wooden or paper leaf and then hang it upon the special memory tree sculpture, displayed prominently within the hospital.

They were joined by several members of the Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals team who are passionate supporters and advocates of organ donation; including Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, Emma Little; Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, Dr Pardeep Gill; Trust Governor and Chair of the Organ Donation Committee, Judith Moore; Lead Chaplain, Laurence Gamlen and Trust Chairman, Andy Field.

Andy Field said: “Families have to think about organ donation at one of the most difficult times of their lives and the fact that organs are donated to an unknown recipient makes it even more special.

“It’s important to the Trust that the memory tree is located in a prominent position for all to see – not only is it testament to the incredible gift given by those patients and their families, but it makes others think about the importance of donation and expressing their wishes.”