We love talking about organ donation and transplantation so much that we just can't help ourselves when we get invited to speak somewhere!
Last week Emily attended a transplant and organ donation awareness day organised by medics at St. Barts and the London. They had been put onto the case by Chris Rudge, the 'Transplant Tsar' himself, who suggested that the students look us up. Emily awoke at the crack of dawn to avoid the rush-hour traffic, arriving at 7.30 to meet the team and set up the foyer full of display boards and posters (predominantly from a medical perspective) and our LLTGL table.
Chris opened the proceedings with a brief outline of the history of transplant and organ donation, including lots of complicated sciencey bits, various trends and issues arising and the current status of transplantation. Then, various transplant patients spoke - including one guy who had received two kidneys and was now waiting for a 3rd, one lady who had received a live kidney donation, and then our Emily. Em showed a video of one of the friends of Samantha Webb-Jones talking incredibly emotionally about losing her friend to the shortage of organ donors.
The day was an excellent chance for us to communicate why organ donation matters to those doctors who may eventually be on the front-line of organ donation and helping families to make the decision to donate their loved one's organs. We really want to help increase the referral rate of potential donors to donor transplant co-ordinators, so getting our message across to doctors is vital. It was also a great day as we got to speak with more people affected by transplants, more transplant and donor co-ordinators as well as the transplant man himself.
Although it was a long and tiring day, we relish any chance we get to spread the word about organ donation and transplantation and to keep people thinking and talking about it.