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Health Pembrokeshire

Family shares Andrea’s story to encourage people to register donation decision

Andrea Powell: a victim of the Paddleboard tragedy in Haverfordwest in 2021

This Organ Donation Week (18 – 24 September 2023) NHS Blood and Transplant and Hywel Dda University Health Board are calling on people to register their donation decision and talk to their families about organ donation as more than 7,198 people are actively waiting for a transplant across the UK.

Around 93,864 people in Carmarthenshire, 41,228 people in Ceredigion, and 65,611 people in Pembrokeshire have already declared their decision through the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, people need to tell their family to help ensure they support their decision if they are approached about organ donation by a specialist nurse in hospital. When a family are approached, 9 out of 10 families will agree to donation if they know their family member was on the Organ Donor Register and talked about their decision.

Andrea Powell, a 41 year old from Bridgend, tragically died following a paddleboarding incident in Pembrokeshire in 2021, leaving her family devastated.  

In sharing her story to help others in making their own donation decision, Andrea’s husband, Mark, said “Andrea was the most beautiful soul. A wonderful, caring and devoted mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend taken from us suddenly and tragically when she had so much to live for. We take great pride, solace and comfort in her gift of life to others after her passing.” 

Andrea has helped save the lives of 4 people through organ donation. Register your decision at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family.

Even though the law around organ donation has now changed across England, Scotland and Wales, family members will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead. This means it is still just as important as ever to register your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and ensure your friends and family know what you want.

Judith Hardisty, Vice Chair at Hywel Dda University Health Board, and Chair of its Organ Donation Committee, said: “Organ Donation Week is very important and is an opportunity for families to have discussions about organ donation. In Wales we follow the legislation of deemed consent, meaning it is presumed that you have no objection in being an organ donor. Therefore, it is vital that people register their decision and talk to loved ones.’

The health board is now asking people across the area to register their decision and tell their families that they want to donate after their death to ensure they are able to give the gift of life.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are very grateful to Hywel Dda University Health Board for its support during Organ Donation Week.  

“Every day across the UK there are thousands of patients and their families, waiting for that all important life-saving call. Yet, this is often only possible as a result of another family receiving some of the hardest news they might ever have to hear.  

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“With the increase in the number of people waiting for transplants, it’s more important than ever to register your support for organ donation on the NHS Organ Donor Register to ensure your family are aware of your decision.  

“We urge anyone who hasn’t already done so, to take a moment this Organ Donation Week to register and share your decision.”  

To find out more and register your decision, visit the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family.