Kidney transplant mum urges people to back organ donation system

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 February 2018

Charlene with mum Nicola and seven-year-old Harlow.

Charlene with mum Nicola and seven-year-old Harlow.

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A Weston woman who received a kidney from her mum is calling on people to back a new organ donation system which could save thousands of lives.

Tomorrow (Friday) MPs will vote on a new bill where people are registered as a donor unless they state otherwise.

Mother-of-one Charlene Green, aged 36, believes the opt-out system is ‘really important’ as it will prevent people from dying while waiting for an organ.

She said: “I am backing this new system 100 per cent. I think a lot of people don’t like to talk about it, but if people have to opt out it will make them think about it.

“A lot of people who pass early sometimes don’t think about it. It’s a much better idea and it will provide a lot more organs for donation and prevent a lot of people from waiting. One donor could help five people to live. I think it’s really important.”

Charlene was born with just one kidney, but only found out five years ago when she fell ill.

Luckily her mum Nicola Slade was a match, which prevented Charlene from a long wait for a suitable organ.

The number of people on the transplant list in the UK peaked last year at 6,388, with 457 dying while waiting for an organ.

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), 74 per cent of people in the South West say they would support changing the law.

The charity surveyed 2,000 people and found over a quarter of those who did not support a change were put off by concerns they would not be able to opt out. Figures also revealed 38 per cent of people are not aware of their families’ wishes about organ donation.

The charity is asking people to encourage their MP to attend parliament this Friday to vote on the bill.

Simon Gillespie, BHF’ chief executive, said: “There is a desperate shortage of organs in the UK and introducing an opt-out system in England will better reflect the views of the general public and give hope to those currently waiting for a transplant they so desperately need.”

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