Woman has her mum to thank for organ donation support

Chatteris mother and daughter on organ donation

Alison Moore (right) lost her mother Yvonne (left) in 2011, and was inspired to donate some of her organs after having a conversation about the topic. - Credit: NHS Blood and Transplant

A woman inspired by a conversation about donating organs with her late mother has highlighted the importance of talking about the topic. 

Alison Moore of Chatteris spoke about organ donation with mother Yvonne after hearing the subject on radio. 

“My mum joked saying ‘I don’t think they would want anything of mine, but if they do, they can have whatever they like!’” Alison said.  

“It was such a quick, light-hearted conversation, but not one that you forget.” 

After Yvonne died following a brain heamorrhage in 2011, Alison was approached by a specialist nurse to talk about organ donation, a decision she could not refuse. 

Since then, Yvonne has helped five other people by donating both her kidneys, liver and corneas, and Alison now provides talks on the subject of organ donation.

“It was an instant decision to say yes. I didn’t have to take a breath,” Alison said. 

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“Having that conversation with mum made it so much easier. When I said my final goodbye to mum, I told her “I love you, and always will. You gave me life, now you have a chance to give someone else new life”. 

In Cambridgeshire, 408,700 people are currently on the NHS Organ Donor Register, but more people are being urged to talk with their families about their decision.   

The NHS’ Leave Them Certain campaign aims to highlight the impact not knowing has on families and encourage people to talk about their decision, following research that less than half of adults in England have had the conversation. 

If it was not for talking with her mother about the subject, Alison may never have considered helping others in this way. 

“Mum did a great thing in death. Donation was the rainbow of hope that emerged from the black cloud of losing my mum,” she added. 

“If one person comes up to me and says they will talk to their family about it, or will sign up to the NHS organ donor register, it’s worth it.” 

The NHS has provided tips and guidance on how to start the conversation: 

- Start by checking in first; ‘how are you doing?’ so you can gauge whether now is a good time. Choose a time when you’re not too distracted or when you’re sharing a space, or time with each other, such as out walking.  

- Perhaps there is something that prompts the conversation - passing a driving test, seeing our campaign TV advert, or a newspaper article 

- Open with ‘did you hear’ and not your own point of view; or use a hypothetical ‘how would you feel if…’  

- If faith is important to you, open with talking about what you know about your faith’s beliefs on giving 

- Acknowledge it’s a difficult subject and that you don’t have to agree 

For more information on organ donation and to register your decision, visit: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ or call 0300 123 23 23.