The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is asking people to help save lives by speaking to family members about organ donation.
The appeal to ‘Leave Them Certain’ comes as part of Organ Donation Week, which runs from Monday 20th September until Sunday 26th September 2021.
Council’s civic headquarters at Cloonavin will light up in pink in support of the annual seven-day campaign to encourage more people to sign the Organ Donation Register and ensure family members discuss decisions with each other.
In Northern Ireland there are approximately 115 people on the transplant list and every year around 11 people die while waiting for a life-saving operation. One donation can save the lives of up to eight people.
The Mayor, Councillor Richard Holmes recently met with Northern Trust Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation Mary McAfee in Ballycastle to show his support for the initiative.
Councillor Holmes said: “Families can find themselves facing a difficult decision about organ donation following the death of a loved one. This year’s campaign encourages us to have this vital conversation, and ensure that we ‘Leave Them Certain’ about our thoughts around organ donation.
“By ensuring your family is certain about your choices, you could help save the life of someone’s mother or father, son or daughter.
“I hope that by showing our support for Organ Donation Week we encourage more people within Causeway Coast and Glens to sign the register and speak to their family about their choice.”
Describing organ donation as a ‘precious gift, Mary McAfee added: “No lifesaving transplant would be possible without the generosity of every donor and their families who gave their support and say ‘yes’ to organ donation. Here in Northern Ireland, 51 families have shown great courage and kindness by thinking of others at a time of huge emotional distress, made even more difficult by Covid restrictions within our hospitals.
“This past year has been unprecedented in the history of the NHS and wider society and we would not have achieved this success without their support for organ donation or the commitment of our clinical teams. 113 people received a lifesaving transplant because of our local families brave decisions.
“There are still many people waiting for a life-changing transplant across Northern Ireland. We know that most people would accept an organ transplant if they need one, yet at present only 49% of us have signed the NHS Organ Donor Register.
“If you want to make your decision known the best way is to record it on the NHS Organ Donor Register and tell you loved ones as well.”
You can find out more about organ donation and sign the register online now by visiting www.organdonationni.info.