Young doctor’s final wish saves lives through organ donation
This Organ Donation Week (3-9 September), the mother of a young doctor who died unexpectedly at St George’s Hospital is encouraging others to follow her daughter’s example and talk to their family about organ donation.
Raheal Gabrasadig, 30, was rushed to St George’s after a brain aneurysm and sadly passed away in May last year.
Months before Raheal’s unexpected death, she told her family that she would like to donate her organs if anything happened to her.
Raheal was just beginning her career as a doctor, working in Luton and Dunstable Hospital’s Paediatric department, and told her family that she would want to donate her organs to others in need.
The team of Specialist Nurses in Organ Donation at St George’s approached Raheal’s mother Cathrina about donating her organs.
Cathrina said: “They were really supportive and explained how she could help others. It was difficult to hear but they were always so respectful, and remembering our conversation with her, we knew it was what she wanted.
“Knowing that her final wish helped to save lives still gives us comfort. Raheal was always thinking about other people, and it would make her happy to know she was able to help.”
Raheal’s organs went to six people on the waiting list, and helped to transform their lives, including a child in need of a liver transplant. Her donation was even more vital due to the urgent need for donors from a black, Asian and minority background.
NHS Blood and Transplant figures show that only seven percent – 114 – of donors last year were from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds.
Leanne McCracken, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation at St George’s, said: “We’d encourage everyone to have the same conversation Raheal had with their loved ones. It can be a hard conversation to have, but it is such an important one. Words really do save lives and making sure others know your wishes can be the difference between life and death for someone awaiting a transplant.”
To sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Notes to editors
For more information about Raheal’s story please contact Pippa Harper, Media Manager at St George’s, via firstname.lastname@example.org
About organ donation in the UK
- Around 6,000 people across the UK are waiting for an organ transplant
- Only around 6,000 people each year die in circumstances where they can donate their organs
- Three people a day die in need of a transplant due to a shortage of people being willing to donate organs
About black, Asian and minority ethnic organ donation
- More donors from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are urgently needed to address an increase in patients from the same communities dying whilst waiting for an organ transplant
- One in five people who died on the transplant waiting list last year were from a black, Asian or ethnic minority background
- People from black and Asian communities are more likely to develop conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and certain forms of hepatitis than white people. This makes them more likely to need a transplant
- Although many black and Asian patients are able to receive a transplant from a white donor, for many the best match will come from a donor from the same ethnic background.
More information: www.organdonation.nhs.uk