Organ donation offers priceless gift of life - The Yorkshire Post says

Richard Wood was given a second chance at life after a heart transplant.
Richard Wood was given a second chance at life after a heart transplant.

With the rate of organ donations in Yorkshire falling and hundreds of people in the region desperately awaiting transplants, it is individual stories which have a vital role in highlighting the priceless gift of life that donors provide to seriously-ill people and their families.

In an emotional account about the second chance at life he was given four years ago through a heart transplant from a 22-year-old man who had died from a brain haemorrhage, company director and father-of-two Richard Wood explains how he often thinks about the stranger who kept him alive.

“It leaves a legacy, of knowing you can do some good,” Mr Wood says. “I do think about the donor, and their family.

That at Christmas, there would be one less person for them to celebrate with. I did write a letter of thanks, and to say that out of tragedy some good did come of it.”

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Mr Wood is now a charity volunteer supporting the hospital where he had his transplant, while members of his family including his wife and his daughters have themselves signed up to become donors so that if in the unfortunate event they were to pass away, their organs would be able to give life to others.

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From the spring next year, the law around organ and tissue donation in England is changing, from an ‘opt in’ model to one where people instead must ‘opt out’.

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But with that still months away - and lives on the line with almost 500 people in Yorkshire waiting for transplants after over 140 deaths of such patients in the region in the last five years - there is no reason for those who wish to participate in organ donation to delay signing up.