Shoppers in Bradford sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register
Bradford Bulls rugby league player Chev Walker, was one of 250 people to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register (ODR) at the Kirkgate Shopping Centre in Bradford last weekend (14 & 15 January).
The event was part of NHS Blood and Transplant’s (NHSBT) campaign, specifically aimed at increasing the number of Black and Asian people on the ODR. Shoppers were able to ask questions about organ donation and learnt why it is important for more people from ethnic communities to sign up to the Register.
Chev Walker said: “If someone from my family needed a transplant I know I’d want them to get the help they needed - so it was an easy decision for me to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register. I hope that more people from Bradford will think about the difference they could make to someone’s life by joining the Register.”
Abrar Hussain from Bradford, who received a life saving liver transplant in August 2010, also attended the event to pledge his support to the campaign.
Abrar said: “I was delighted to be able to support NHSBT’s campaign to encourage more Black and Asian people in Bradford to sign up to the Register. Raising awareness of the need for more people to sign up is vital as Black and Asian people are more likely to need a transplant and there is a serious shortage of people from these communities on the Register.
“I wouldn’t be here today if someone else hadn’t made that commitment so if you haven’t already registered, please sign up today.”
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. 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 suitable liver.
Abrar said: “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.”
The number of people joining the ODR has increased in recent years, but this hasn’t been matched within the Black and Asian communities. Just 0.4% of those on the ODR are Black and only 1.4% are from the Asian community. However, these groups are three times more likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the population. This is because they are more susceptible to developing health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney and heart failure.
Gordon Crowe, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation, NHS Blood & Transplant, Yorkshire region said: “We were delighted with the response we received from the people of Bradford. The event encouraged 250 people to sign the register, which means each one of them could one day save or improve the lives of as many as nine people. It is absolutely critical that people from all ethnic backgrounds sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register and let their families know, so that their wishes can be respected.”
To add your name to the NHS Organ Donor Register, please ring 0300 123 00 00, text ORGAN to 64118 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or www.facebook.com/organdonationuk