‘Being an organ donor can keep families together,’ says daughter

Joan Rye, left, with daughter Sarah Rye. Photo: SUBMITTED. ANL-161212-090036001
Joan Rye, left, with daughter Sarah Rye. Photo: SUBMITTED. ANL-161212-090036001

As the NHS has released its latest campaign urging people to join the organ donor register, one West Norfolk woman is hoping that people listen to the message.

Sarah Rye, from Downham, has been awaiting a phone call to say a donor liver is ready for her mum Joan for 14 months, and is appealing to members of the public to become donors.

Mrs Rye said: “We just want to try and get people to realise what it’s like being on the waiting list. If there were more donors, and therefore more livers, this wouldn’t be such a big thing.

“We are just hoping that a liver will become available. People being donors can keep families together.”

Mrs Rye’s 68-year-old mum has a serious liver condition which first became apparent when her doctor did a routine scan due to her Crohn’s disease.

Mrs Rye said that scarring was found on her mum’s liver, and ever since it was confirmed that she would be suitable for a transplant, she has been waiting for the phone call.

“Since mum’s been on the waiting list, she’s been going down hill. We want more people to put themselves on the donor register, not just for mum, but for anyone who might be in this situation.

“I don’t want them to go through what we have had to go through – that sort of feeling is horrible, wondering if she is going to be here next Christmas,” Mrs Rye added.

According to the NHS Blood and Transport website, 6,500 people like Joan are living a life “in limbo” in the UK, waiting for the important call.

Sally Johnson, NHS blood and transplant director of organ donation and transplantation, said: “It’s a terrible shame that so many people who want to save lives through organ donation have not taken the next, simple step to register that decision.

“We all have busy lives, yet most of us would admit that we still find ourselves whiling time away and delaying doing important things. Signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register is one thing we know people often just haven’t got around to doing.

“This Christmas, we are asking everyone who supports organ donation to take just a few minutes of their time online to show that support by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

To find out more, or to register as an organ donor, please visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk