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Organ donation and support at St George's

Organ donation and support at St George's

Leanne, Julie and James, Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation at St George’s.

This month’s blog from St George’s in Tooting, highlighting the vast array of amazing work that goes on in the hospital. It’s Leanne McCracken’s turn this month, so, over to you Leanne...

Hi, I’m Leanne McCracken and I’m a Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at St George’s Hospital.

I’m part of a 24/7 team of Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation – otherwise known as SNODs – and it’s our role to assess patients as potential organ donors and support their families through the process.

We also hold a number of events throughout the year to raise awareness of organ donation, including last week’s Organ Donation Awareness Week (3-9 September).

This year’s national campaign – Words Save Lives – encourages families to talk about organ donation and let your loved ones know your wishes.

Throughout the week, we held a number of activities and events including holding information stands in the main hospital foyers and hosting a Twitter takeover on our Trust’s Twitter account (@StGeorgesTrust for those of you who don’t already follow), which was a great way for members of the public to ask us questions about organ donation.

We also shared the story of 30-year-old doctor Raheal Gabrasadig who had a brain aneurysm and died suddenly last year.

Raheal’s organs went to six people on the waiting list, and helped to transform their lives, including a child in need of a liver transplant. Her decision to donate her organs was even more vital due to the urgent need for donors from black, Asian and minority backgrounds.

Raheal Gabrasadig

Working with Raheal’s family throughout the process, it was clear to me how they had discussed organ donation as a family before this moment and so it’s fantastic that they decided to share Raheal’s story to encourage others to follow her example and talk to their family about organ donation.

Organ donation is really well supported at St George’ fact, just last month one of our consultants – whose son died and became an organ donor here in 2016 – co-launched the world’s first of its kind organ donation course with St George’s, University of London and NHS Blood and Transplant. This is a great step in the right direction to educate more people about organ donation.

Earlier this year, we hosted our fifth annual Tree of Life event to pay tribute to the families of organ and tissue donors. We also revealed our new memorial tree which acts as a permanent reminder of each donor’s selfless gift.

Tree of Life
Staff form a heart around the Tree of Life.

Throughout 2017/18, a total of 120 lives were saved thanks to 41 organ donors and over 50 families consenting to organ donation – and even more lives have been transformed from tissue and eye donations.

Currently in the UK, there are around 6,000 people waiting for an organ transplant – three of which die every day in need of a transplant due to a shortage of people being willing to donate organs.

If you are interested in joining the 23 million people who have signed up to become an organ donor, or simply want to find out more, please visit the organ donation website here.

Want to hear from a particular service or department at St George’s in next month’s blog post – let us know! Email with your suggestions with the email title “Tooting Daily PRSS blog”.


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