The importance of organ donation

Siblings Grace and Freddie have been coming to GOSH for more than 10 years after both were diagnosed with a condition which affects their hearts.

Grace and Freddie spoke on BBC London Inside Out London about the importance of paediatric organ donation to them.

“It means a new life for me!” explains Grace.

"To me, it kind of means saving others,” says Freddie, who is still awaiting a heart transplant.

Having a difficult conversation

Both Grace and Freddie hope that their appearance on BBC Inside Out London encourages more families to have the discussion about organ donation.

“We're hoping that it will help promote not only organ donation to adults, but also to younger children,” says Grace. “If a child passes away, then their parents might donate their organs and be able to save younger children.”

Grace and Freddie’s mum, Michelle, hopes these difficult conversations around organ donation can help more children. She says: “It's an awful and horrible thing to have to think about and we were in a position where we had to talk about it when the children were very young. It's just trying to get people to have a conversation so that, God forbid, something does go wrong, they've already got it fixed in their mind that organ donation is something that they want to do. In a situation where it's an accident or an emergency where you have to make a snap decision, it's easier if you've already had that conversation. So just encouraging people to have the conversation.”

‘I remain humbled when I get an offer’

Dr Ben Davies, Cardiothoracic Surgeon at GOSH appears on BBC Inside Out London as well. “I remain humbled every time I get an offer,” he says. “It means ultimately, that a family in a desperate emotionally fraught time has thought to be so generous as to give an organ away to help and benefit someone else.”

More information

The BBC Inside Out London report coincides with the launch of a new paediatric organ donation strategy by NHS Blood and Transplant. For more information and advice about organ donation, please visit NHS Blood and Transplant’s website – https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/.