Mum's organ donation appeal as six die waiting for transplants
PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 September 2018
The mother of a teenage girl who gave the gift of life after her death has urged more people to consider organ donation, with patients in North Somerset dying while waiting for transplants.
Former Churchill Academy pupil Fiona Braidwood tragically lost her life aged 17 after a car crash in Banwell in 2016, just months before she was due to study geography at Durham University.
Her death shattered her family’s world, but a ray of light emerged from the ‘truly awful experience’ as Fi – as she was known by her loved ones – registered as an organ donor and saved four lives.
Her lungs and liver were donated to women in their 20s, a man in his 30s received her pancreas and a kidney, with the other going to a woman in her 30s – and Fi’s mum Vicki Caldwell has called for more families to discuss the subject.
She said: “We were so proud of Fi for taking the first step to register as a donor.
“As a family we knew the importance of organ donation as a family friend’s daughter had died waiting for a liver transplant. We saw their loss and sadness and Fi was always touched by this.
“It was a truly awful experience to be told your child would not survive due to the severity of the injuries, and if Fi had not told us of her wishes to donate her organs it would have been a very difficult decision.
“But being able to follow a loved one’s wishes is very comforting at a very traumatic time and a very special gift to someone in desperate need.
“People should have the conversations now about their wishes in relation to organ donation especially with the opt-out system coming in.”
Vicki’s plea coincides with Organ Donation Week, and the NHS has launched an appeal for more people to sign the register after ‘shocking’ figures revealed six people from North Somerset died while waiting for a donor in the past five years.
Anthony Clarkson, NHS organ donation director, said: “It’s tragic so many people from North Somerset have died waiting for a transplant.
“What is shocking is many of those lives could have been saved, had more families agreed to donate organs.
“People are dying every day because some families are not talking about donation.
“We need more families to say yes so more lives can be saved.”
To join the register, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk