Would you save a life?

 

With law enforcing the use of seat belts to all passengers, and people generally enjoying better health, we are finding fewer people’s families having to make the choice of organ donation.

Jimmy Saville was one of the first people I remember in the 70’s promoting the “clunk, click every trip” slogan on getting us to use our seat belts. With law enforcing the use of seat belts to all passengers, and people generally enjoying better health, we are finding fewer people’s families having to make the choice of organ donation.

Yet increased stress levels, diets built around convenience and a lack of exercise are increasing the need for “spare parts.” This is not an age-related issue as many of us may think.

We’re aware that the Medical sector has been able to offer us babies created in a test tube, the perfect body, and drugs to increase our sex drive. Yet how many of us know that:

These facts mean very little until we are faced with somebody in our inner circle is affected by organ failure. Over the last 19 years I have seen one of my closest friends go from being a sporty extrovert with flawless skin, to someone who is constantly tired, who spends 3 evenings a week in hospital undergoing dialysis, and who has had to endure various operations to remove parts of her body just to keep her functioning.

The trouble is I have noticed how talking about her kidney failure and treatment makes people uncomfortable – and so she often avoids the subject.

So how does one go from not acknowledging the situation to asking for support, or even for your kidney? Most people can’t and don’t. In our case our relationship was such that she did not need to ask as I suggested it.

Originally I was under the impression it was going to impact my life in a major way.

However, after attending the Hammersmith Hospital Kidney seminar, I realised things have come a long way. My son commented “ It’s like having your tonsils out”. To him it was something he too would consider one day.

After a series of tests, and several urine and blood samples, I have been told I am a “fit” and am able to offer my left kidney – even though we are different blood groups. The operation will take place on the 8th September. We will stay together for the 4-5 days I am in hospital – leaving with only Paracetamol for support upon discharge. In the first 3 months I will require a few checkups for comfort, falling back on an annual full medical MOT after that.

Nobody should rush into a major decision on being a donor, however the Hammersmith Hospital team offers seminars which will give you the facts to investigate further:

TEL: Harvinder Dulku 0208 383 8145 harvinder.dulku@imperial.nhs.uk

Or website www.uktransplant.org.uk

Dr Inderjit Singh OBE Director, Network of Sikh Organisations UK comments, “ In my family we all carry donor cards and I would encourage all Sikhs to do so.”

Inderjyt Takhar