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Poignant Stories of Organ Donation Told at Conference

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Poignant stories about those who have given and received organs are to be told during a special one-day conference in Worcester next week.

The event, on Wednesday, March 15th, has been organised for students across a range of health courses at the University of Worcester to give them an opportunity to learn more about organ donation.

Speakers include University of Worcester graduate Amy Davies, who underwent a liver transplant while completing her studies to become a nurse.

Amy, from Amblecote, near Dudley, who graduated in 2016 and is now working as a nurse, said: “The gift I received from an unknown lady, who I consider an angel, is the greatest act of kindness I could ever imagine, which not only save my life – her decision to donate her organs saved several lives.”

Also speaking at the conference are the parents of Catherine Amies, from Pershore, who died at the age of 38 while waiting for a double kidney and pancreas transplant. On her death she became a donor and saved or helped five other people.

In addition, Kate Ledger, from Gloucester will share her experience of receiving a kidney from an anonymous stranger in 2014, and Jayne Tyler will talk about how her husband Richard’s life was saved by a heart transplant.

The conference will give students an opportunity to talk about the legal and ethical aspects of organ donation.

Chris Clarke, Chair of the Worcestershire Acute Hospital Organ Donation Committee and a Senior Lecturer in Advanced Clinical Practice at the University of Worcester, said: “More than 7,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant, and of these three a day will die waiting as there are not enough organs available. Organ donation saves and transforms lives, and one donor can help as many as 9 people. As future health care professionals, nursing students’ understanding of organ donation can affect their approach to potential donor patients and the decision-making process of the patients’ family members.

“This study day aims to increase the student’s knowledge of organ donation and the role of the Clinical Lead and Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation, so that they too can help in raising awareness of the importance of organ donation both locally and nationally; encouraging people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and to share their donation decision with their family and friends.”

Dr Gavin Nicol, Consultant in Anaesthetics and Critical Care at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “As Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust I am delighted to have been asked to speak at this study day. Organ and tissue donation can both save lives and improve the quality of life for many patients. Hopefully this study day for future healthcare professionals will help to make organ donation a usual rather than unusual event in our hospitals.”