Baby Benjamin's mum's plea for people to sign up for life saving organ donation

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The consultant who fought to save tiny Benjamin has backed the tot’s mum’s calls to change the rules on organ donation.

Ashley Hardy (32) said she had ‘given up’ on getting the lifesaving new heart for her little warrior.
And she said she did not want others to have the same agonising wait, and urged as many people as possible to sign up to the Organ Donation Register.
Ashley said: “Sign up - please sign up - It is a massive and important thing - I’ve been here and seen children pass away waiting for a transplant. I didn’t want Benjamin being added to that number.
“People just need to think - what good are these organs when they are buried - they are no good to anyone. They can save a life. It is priceless.”
In December 2015, a new system was introduced in Wales, where people had to opt out of organ donation - if they had not opted out, they were considered to have ‘deemed consent’ and organ donation would take place.
David Crossland, paediatric cardiologist at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, where a transplant saved Benjamin’s life, said the same system should be introduced across the country.
He said: “There has to be a opt out system.

Ashley, Benjamin and David

Ashley, Benjamin and David

“We can’t have anyone dying. Everyone should be offering their organs .
“ I’m completely happy for people to opt out - but saying ‘I don’t know is unacceptable - everyone should be a donor or have to opt out.”
Last year a record number of people donated their organs in the UK.
There we re 1,575 deceased donors during 2017/18, an 11 per cent increase on the previous financial year - but more donors are needed to help seriously ill people.
Earlier this month Dale Gardiner was appointed as the UK’s new national Clinical Lead for Organ Donation. He said he was working on the opt out scheme in England and
Scotland.
He said: “The improvements to organ donation in the UK have been an incredible success, probably the biggest improvements in any NHS field over the last few years.
“Donation has gone from being unusual to usual. The next step is to make organ donation expected. Part of that will involve working within potentially new legislative frameworks with ‘opt out’ systems proposed for England and Scotland.

"What I really want to build on is the sense of pride in donation. That organ donation is something society, donors and their families, and the doctors and nurses delivering care, are all proud to be part of.”
People are being urged to talk to their family about their wishes regarding organ donation. To sign up to the organ donation register, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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