year nearly 3,000 organ transplants take place in the UK. These
transplants save people’s lives or drastically improve them.
Out met Antony Hooker, the Midlands lifesaver who makes transplants
and his committed transplant coordination team organise transplants
in the West Midlands.
"People think that my job is all about listening out for the
news for some great tragedy so you can rush there and whip out somebody’s
it’s nothing like that at all. It’s far more humane."
Inside Out discovered, there’s definitely no waiting around ..
What the Transport Co-ordination team do
is aware of people in need of a transplant. A
potential donor who is gravely ill and being kept alive by
a ventilator is identified.
any conditions which could halt the donation.
is to establish their preliminary agreement.
establish whether their is any possible chance of recovery for
the potential donor.
establish whether the donor is free of hepatitis, HIV, etc.
enable the donation, this must be given voluntarily by the family.
members spend some time with the donor.
is reliant on the availability of a specialist surgical team
and an intensive care bed for the recipient.
organs are packed in ice and taken to the recipient’s hospital
where the transplant takes place.
donor’s body is made ready to be returned to their family. Their
hair is washed, men are shaved etc. Hand prints and hair locks
are taken if requested by the family.
every stage outlined above, Antony is caring for the family and
respecting their wishes.
difficult job involves asking families in their depths of grief
to consider organ donation.
with the families is really about making sure that they realise
that a miracle’s not going to happen."
can be really quite brutal."
always amazed by people’s generosity at this time."
couple who have experienced Antony’s work is Kath and Mike Lewis.
recently tragically lost their 21 year old daughter Sarah.
organs were used to help five people, including an eight month old
says of the donation:
"Sarah’s life was important even in her death
been a wonderful comfort to us and I’m sure it would be to other
think it’s so silly that so many people die and organs are not donated."
than half the families asked to go ahead with an organ donation
are placed in ice for safe transportation|
wishing to become donors should tell relatives about their wishes,
as relatives ultimately give the go-ahead.
may be more likely to agree if they know it is their loved one's
cards are available from doctors surgeries and health centres.
can also register on the National
Donor Register online.
Kath Lewis says, "It’s the gift of life that you’re giving to other
Antony, organising these precious gifts of life is a job that he
will continue to do with the intense, passionate dedication witnessed
by Inside Out.