Posted: Tue 24th Nov 2015

Middleweight boxer Tom Doran meets Deeside political heavyweight for a chat about organ donation

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Nov 24th, 2015

Champion boxer Tom Doran teamed up with a political heavyweight to prompt families to talk to each other about organ donation ahead of next week’s changes to the way the donor register works.

On December 1 in Wales a new system will come into force where unless people register that they do not want to donate their organs, then their consent will be presumed. To become a donor it is still possible to opt in to the register, or do nothing.

Wales will be the first UK country to introduce the soft opt-out system for organ and tissue donation in the hope of saving more lives. In 2012/13, 36 people died in Wales whilst waiting for an organ transplant as donors could not be found.

Middleweight boxer Tom Doran met with his local Assembly Member Carl Sargeant to discuss the changes.

The 28-year-old from Connah’s Quay hadn’t thought about organ donation but as the changes approached he and his wife Lynsey decided to discuss their wishes on the subject before they got married on October 10th. The couple have a 1-year-old daughter, Ivy.

“I have thought about it and I will be opting in,” said Tom. “My wife is not sure and is still making up her mind. It’s not a nice conversation to have but with the change in the law people have to at least think about it.”

Carl Sargeant agreed: “People don’t like talking about it but if it came to the crunch and your family didn’t know you’re a donor, it could be very upsetting. It’s a big thing to take in that someone you love has died. To know in advance that their organs will be used rather than learning immediately after hearing the bad news must make it somewhat easier.

“Patients die in Wales each year waiting for a transplant so I’m proud that the Welsh Labour Government is leading the way in the UK to try and boost the number of successful organ donations. One person can donate to an average of seven people so I’m hopeful the changes will make a really positive difference.”

In the first two quarters of the financial year 2015-16 1,071,049 people opted in to the organ donation register and 53,032 opted out. As at the end of September there were 235 people in Wales waiting for a transplant. 103 transplants have been carried out in the first two quarters of 2015-16.

Tom Doran added: “I think the change in the law on organ donation in Wales is a good thing and will lead to more people receiving transplants. A lot of people might not feel strongly either way and won’t do anything about it, so there will be more people on the register. If people feel strongly they can still opt out.”

You can register your decision by going to http://organdonationwales.org/Join-the-Organ-Donor-Register/?lang=en or calling 0300 123 23 23.

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