Leverington man part of campaign to boost awareness of organ donations

A LEVERINGTON man whose late wife allowed her organs to be used for medical research is part of a campaign to boost awareness of organ donations.

Almost 700 people in East Anglia are awaiting a life-saving transplant and organisers of National Transplant Week hope some of those can be helped.

Retired fashion retailer Margaret Bright, 71, from Leverington, told her husband John and their three children that she would like to donate her organs or tissue.

Mrs Bright died after suffering a heart attack, in hospital, in February 2010, after being admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Kings Lynn for a hip replacement.

Her organs could not be offered for transplant because of drugs she had been prescribed whilst she was undergoing treatment. But they were used for medical research, while her corneas were transplanted.

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Retired motor dealer Mr Bright, 74, said: “It was a tremendous help to me and my children. Once we knew her corneas had restored the sight of a 55-year-old gentleman, it gave us all a lift.”

Mr Bright went on to become a member of the organ donor committee at the QEH, which helps to promote the procedure.

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A spokesman for the QEH said: “Registering to become an organ donor is easy. Just log-on to www.organdonation.nhs.uk and follow the simple step-by-step instructions.

“Alternatively, ask for more information at your GP practice, local health centre or hospital. After registering, please make sure you tell your close family and friends, so that everyone is aware of your wishes.”

In 2011/12, there were 355 transplants performed in East Anglia, while 34 people who were awaiting a transplant died.

“We know that if we could get more people signing up for the register and people’s families agreeing we could close this gap between people waiting and people getting transplants,” said Marentia Teasdale, a specialist transplant nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

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