"Rich is excited about what the future might hold"
That's my mate Rich's facebook status at the moment.
A couple of weeks ago, Rich was in the Brompton hospital where he had been living for the past two months. He was unable to do....well, anything really. He was using a bi-pap (non-invasive ventilator) pretty much all the time just to keep breathing, he was extremely ill, and his quality of life was poor to say the least.
Rich got his call for his new lungs and new life in mid-june and so far, is recovering extremely well. His facebook status brought tears to my eyes as that's exactly the point; Rich is now able to contemplate the idea of a future. Of new and exciting possibilities. Of persuing dreams and ambitions. Of simply being around for family and friends. There's a chance, there's hope, there's more to come.
Yesterday I logged onto facebook to read that Donna Mansell - an avid campaigner who was waiting for a new heart - had died. Donna leaves behind a grieving husband, and a seven year old daughter.
This is the very real reason that we need to keep campaigning for more donors and for improvements to the transplant system in the UK. If it wasn't for my donor, the top of this blog would now read "1984 - 2007".
National Transplant Week starts this Sunday and runs all week. Please take the opportunity to raise Organ Donation with someone who might have never even thought about it before. There are events happening across the country; you can join in in a thousand different ways, and make a difference.
Let's give more people the chance to think about what the future might hold. The chance to contemplate careers, families, mortgages...all those things that most of us take for granted.
Organ Donation saves lives; the lack of registered donors kills. Please, think about it, talk about it, do something about it .