Organ Donation has always been at the forefront of my mind and in my heart ever since I was quite young. I always remember telling my Mom at around the age of fourteen that I wanted to register as an organ donor so that it may help others if anything ever happened to me. My mom helped me sign up and I have been an organ donor ever since. To me it was such an important choice to make and I really hope one day that my choice may help others in need of a transplant.
This week is National Transplant Week and when lovely author Emma Carroll asked me if I would feature a guest post for something that is close to her heart, that she had written about in In Darkling Wood and to raise awareness of Organ Donation and National Transplant Week I immediately said yes!
*Hands over to Emma*
National Transplant Week
When I started writing ‘In Darkling Wood’ I didn’t know much about heart transplants. I knew I probably wanted to be a donor, and I knew first-hand the effect of life threatening illness on family and friends. It was a start, but I wanted to know more.
This week 7-13 September is National Transplant Week, aimed at raising awareness of the need for more organ donors. Three people die daily waiting for transplants. This could be reduced dramatically if more of us made clear our wishes to donate.
Rewind to 2010-11 and my car-share journeys to and from our MA course with writer buddy Maria Farrer. During those journeys, Maria told us about her young nephew who was in dire need of a heart transplant. Time for him was running out.
Fast forward to 2013. Catching up over lunch with a beaming Maria, she shared news of her nephew’s incredible recovery. A heart had been found just in time. And now this young man –and his family who adored him- had a future to enjoy together. His story inspired Maria’s brilliant second novel ‘ A Flash of Blue’.
You can check out a post about by Maria Farrer about her nephew over on Fluttering Butterflies here
And his story… the look on Maria’s face as she told it…also had a real impact on me. It stayed, fermenting away in my brain until I was ready to tell my own version through the lives of my fictional characters in ‘In Darkling Wood’.
When researching transplants- the facts, the procedures, the logistics- what amazed me most were the personal stories of both donor families and the recipients. I didn’t want to write a science textbook. What I wanted was to try to understand the complexity of the situation, and that out of one person’s tragedy comes another person’s hope.
This BBC documentary captures it brilliantly.
If you’ve time, do watch it. It’ll get you thinking…
To register as an organ donor go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk
National Transplant Week: awarenessday.co.uk/event/national-transplant-week
Maria Farrer also wrote a brilliant piece in the Guardian about why young people need to talk about organ donation here
A huge huge thank you to Emma Carroll for this wonderful thought provoking guest post and to Maria for the lovely guest post over on Fluttering Butterflies.
Check out Emma Carroll’s guest post Do You Believe In Fairies here
Also find out more about The Snow Sister and Frost Hollow Hall in the #WinterCarrollReadalong here
Before I go I also wanted to share a transplant story that is truly inspirational by the lovely Dawn Kurtagich….
Join in the conversation on twitter using #NationalTransplantWeek or to register as an organ donor go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk