By signing up to be an organ donor (a process which can be done online and takes about two minutes) you could save up to nine lives. Nine. Nine people who get to live the rest of their lives and nine groups of families and friends who do not have to go through an early grieving process for their loved one - which could have been prevented.
Despite this easy sign-up process and how each of us would likely say yes to a needed organ transplant for ourselves if needed, only 29% of us in the UK have joined the Organ Donor Register. According to the Organ Donation website - "More than 10,000 people in the UK currently need a transplant. Of these, 1000 each year – that's three a day - will die waiting as there are not enough organs available".
Some people are a bit squeamish about this prospect - you don't want some surgeons barbarically taking apart your body after death. Fair shout it's a weird thing to think about but the procedure is done respectfully and crucially - after you're dead. So it's not as if you'll be there to deal with the weirdness. Please think whether this squeamishness is worth people dying when they could live because of you signing up.
Equally some people are freaked out by the prospect of donating their eyes - the eyes their partner fell in love with, that everyone looked into when they talked to them etc etc. I think that's weird too but I'd still rather some blind person might be able to see because of me ticking that little box. However it is your choice and so why not still sign up but just leave that box unchecked?
This is something I feel really passionate about because so many deaths could be prevented just by taking 2 minutes to join the register. If you decide to do so, also mention to your family that this is what you would want as their awareness is important too.
Some people may take issue with me pleading for people to do something which could be considered very personal. However if even one person signs up to be an organ donor on the basis of this post then it was incredibly worthwhile.
Thank you for reading!