Organ donor families are so strong, says nurse

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The Lynn News spoke to Marie Garside, who has been working as a specialist nurse in organ donation for six years at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, but regularly deals with patients from West Norfolk.

She said: “We meet some of the most amazing families who are in the middle of the most awful circumstances but manage to see past that and to remain strong for long enough to make this huge decision. We’re very privileged and it can be incredibly emotional.

“We give these people the choice and empower them to make it by making sure they have all the information they need to make this decision. In my experience it can be a really positive experience for people to have something good come out of their loss, I believe that everyone benefits from organ donation.

“The majority of our cases don’t come from a dramatic event like a motorbike crash, most actually come from those who have suffered a brain haemorrhage or a stroke, often these people got up and went to work like normal in the morning. Their families are left to deal with this enormous shock at the same time as being asked to make a huge decision – this is what we support them through.

“For them it is often very hard, but if their loved ones are already registered it can really help to make clear what they would have wanted.”