A WESTBROOK transplant survivor is calling for people in Manchester to support organ donation.
An NHS roadshow took to the streets of Manchester last Friday to call on people to join the Organ Donor Register.
Holly Shaw, aged 22, of Coppice Green, Kingswood, was diagnosed with kidney failure in January 2005. She waited three years for a transplant and finally got one in October 2008 after spending nine hours a week hooked up to a dialysis machine.
Since her operation Holly, pictured, has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the register and to close the gap between the number of people who say they would be willing to accept an organ if they needed one – 96 per cent – and those who have pledged to donate by joining the register, currently 27 per cent.
Holly said: “I was there to tell my personal story and I hope that people hearing that would be encouraged to consider organ donation and sign up to the register.”
Inspite of her illness, Holly, who went to Great Sankey High School, managed to complete her A-levels and a degree in early childhood studies at Chester University and has gone on to become a nursery nurse.
She has worked tirelessly for charity since her transplant, which was carried out while she studied for her finals, taking part in a charity abseil along with 46 people last year.
Last November she won a Vinspired National Award, which recognises amazing contributions to communities made by people aged 16 to 25.
On March 21 Holly will take part in the Big Zip, which involves a zipwire being set up from the 250 foot high roof of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital that stretches across to the Linda McCartney Centre with the centre and the St Paul’s Eye Unit benefiting from the proceeds.
There are more than 10,000 people who need an organ transplant in the UK and of these, about 1,000 – an average of three a day – die every year before they receive an organ.
Currently, 899 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the north west – last year (April 2008 to March 2009) 723 organ transplants took place but 54 people died last year while waiting for a donor.
Register now at organdonation.nhs.uk/roadshow or call 0300 123 2323