Little Georgia ‘wouldn’t be here today’: Stevenage mother’s appeal after organ donor shortage revealed
PUBLISHED: 12:31 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:32 05 September 2017
A Stevenage mother has made a heartfelt appeal for more people to join the Organ Donor Register after seeing first-hand how a donor saved her daughter’s life.
In the last 10 years, 102 people in Hertfordshire have died needlessly while on the waiting list for organs – something Cally Brown is desperate to see change.
Her nine-year-old daughter Georgia Clark is a thriving young girl, but she wouldn’t around today if she had not received a liver transplant as a baby.
Mum Cally, who lives in Stevenage Old Town, told the Comet: “When I say to people she’s had a liver transplant, they say ‘no way’ – they can’t believe it. Today, she’s bigger and stronger than her twin brother.”
But when Georgia was six weeks old, she suffered from a serious liver condition that was not responding to advanced surgery, and she desperately needed a donation.
Cally said: “I just cried when I found out how she was, it was horrendous.
“It was scary when they told us she needed a transplant. We had never been through that. We didn’t know if she would survive long enough to have a transplant or whether she would survive the operation.
“Without the donor, she wouldn’t have made it.”
According to the NHS Blood and Transplant service, around three people who could have benefited from a transplant die every day because there aren’t enough organ donors.
A survey conducted by NHSBT found that hundreds of potential transplants are missed because families haven’t discussed the wishes of their deceased loved ones.
They urge people to start conversations to understand each other’s decision if the worst happens.
There is a particular need for black and Asian people to consider the issue, as people from similar ethnic backgrounds have an increased likelihood of a successful transplant.
Currently, people from these communities make up 29 per cent of the national transplant waiting list.
29 of these are awaiting a donor in Hertfordshire today.
One organ donor can save or transform up to nine lives, and help even more through donating tissue.
“People say they don’t want to be cut open, but they’re not going to know about it by then,” said Cally.
“The organs are no good to us once we’re gone, are they? Give someone else a chance in life.”
When Georgia was seeking a donor, all of Cally’s family joined the register.
Now Cally wants to do as much as she can to help other families avoid going through what she went through as a mother.
“The waiting journey is awful,” said Cally.
“Every time the phone rings, you jump for it. It does open your eyes.”
Find out more about the NHS Organ Donor Register here.