BRADFORD BULLS STAR PLAYER URGES LOCAL BLACK AND ASIAN COMMUNITY TO JOIN NHS ORGAN DONOR REGISTER
Jayne Fisher, specialist nurse in organ donation, pictured third right with members of the BRI organ donation team
Bradford Bulls rugby league player Chev
Walker will be at the city’s Kirkgate Shopping Centre on Saturday 14
January, encouraging more people from Black and Asian communities to
sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR).
During the event Chev will pledge his support for NHS Blood and Transplant’s drive to increase the number of registrations from ethnic minority communities by signing the ODR himself.
Chev Walker said: “The statistics are shocking. Black and Asian people are three times more likely to need a transplant, yet there is a serious shortage of people from these communities on the Organ Donor Register.
“As soon as I heard about the campaign I made the decision to join the Register. Knowing that one day I may be able help someone who needs a transplant, made me realise it’s the right decision. Together we can do something about this – sign up today - by doing so you could help to save someone else’s life.”
Chev will be joined at the event by transplant patient Abrar Hussain from Bradford and Becky Smith, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, NHS Blood and Transplant.
Abrar, 54, who works as a catering assistant at Bradford’s St Luke’s Hospital had a quarter of his liver removed after developing a cancerous tumour. Two years later the cancer returned and Abrar was told he would need a transplant.
In August 2010, after spending just three months on the transplant waiting list, he received a call from St James’s Hospital in Leeds to say they had found a donor.
“I was one of the lucky ones. To receive a liver transplant so soon after being on the waiting list was an absolute miracle. Apart from a few minor health complications it has transformed my life.
“Before my illness I was a very active person and particularly enjoyed playing cricket. One year on from my surgery, I still have to be careful and colleagues at work make sure I don’t do any heavy lifting, otherwise I lead a normal, healthy, active life.”
For the Hussain family, signing up to the ODR was an obvious step to take, especially after Abrar's sister who lives in the West Midlands, discovered her daughter Inayah, would need a bone marrow transplant. Inayah was born with Osteopetrosis, a rare bone disease which can also lead to blindness and deafness. Although Inayah (7) now has a severe visual impairment, the operation was a success.
Abrar said: “People from all communities should sign up to the Register. If you’re happy to receive an organ from someone, you should be prepared to donate one as well.
“I’m lucky to be alive today because someone else made the decision to donate. You could one day help to save or transform someone else’s life, so do the right thing – sign up today.”
More than 60% of the people waiting for an organ transplant in Bradford are from the Asian or Black community.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) will be hosting a special stand where passers-by can find out more about organ donation and join the ODR. The stand will be located on level three near Primark in the Kirkgate Shopping Centre between 9.30am and 5pm on Saturday 14 January and between 11am and 4pm on Sunday 15 January.
Jayne Fisher, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation, NHS Blood and Transplant, based at Bradford Royal Infirmary said: “It is vital that more people from Black and Asian communities sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. People from these communities are three times more likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the population – but under 2% have formally recorded their wishes by joining the ODR.
“A transplant is much more likely to be successful if the donor and recipient have the same ethnic origin. Offering to become an organ donor means that you could save or enhance as many as nine lives.”
To add your name to the NHS Organ Donor Register, please ring 0300 123 0000, text ORGAN to 64118 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or www.facebook.com/organdonationuk