The only thing necessary for the persistence of evil is for enough good people to do nothing

Become an Organ Donor

I just wanted to take a moment today to update you on things going on behind the scenes. Thank you to everyone who sent me and family messages of support. It is a very difficult and stressful time for us all, especially for my mum (of course) but it is wonderful to know that people are thinking of us. I spoke to mum the other day. She is not at all well and finds it difficult to do very much at the moment. I think that that is one of the hardest aspects of all this for her. She has always been an active person but she is having to sleep much of the time.

One of the effects of liver failure is that ammonia levels build up in the brain and this is making it hard for her to concentrate on anything or sometimes even find the right words for things. Unfortunately, she is not able to email at all now, as looking at the computer screen is too much effort so our communications are quite restricted. It’s hard but at least I know that, through the generosity of friends, I have the money aside for the flight and for my extended stay when the time comes.

And then there’s the waiting. Just waiting for the call. To say that they have found a liver for her. There are many people waiting for transplants and a huge shortage of donor organs. They are getting sicker every moment and the longer they wait, the less chance there is of a successful operation. The reality is that people become too sick for the operation or die waiting.

There was some talk in Britain, years ago, of an opt-out system for organ donation, meaning that everyone was on the list unless they decided to actively sign themselves off. There are those, of course, who have religious or ethical views that would be against organ donation and that’s fine. But if you don’t, please consider signing up. It’s really easy. You can do it by phone, online or even by text message in Britain. For details, please visit the NHS Organ Donation website.

In the States, you can download an organ donor card to sign and keep with you.

Greece has one of the lowest rates of organ donations in Europe, again probably due to religious beliefs and taboos but also a lack of knowledge of the system. For more on religious beliefs and organ donation, please read here. For more information on becoming an organ donor in Greece, please go to the Hellenic Transplant Organisation. It is a fairly simple procedure of filling in a form at your local KEP office and the organistion will send you a donor card. I am not sure whether a donor card from another country is valid here in Greece but I will try and find out and let you know.

Please also let your family know of your wishes in the case of your death. It is a horrible thing to have to discuss but time is of the essence when it comes to transplants. Any contest of your wishes will delay organs being harvested and render them useless.

Sorry, can’t write anything more about it now. It’s just too raw.

But please do consider becoming a donor now.
Don’t put it off, thinking “I’ll do it one day in the future”.
It could be too late…

UPDATE: Thank you to tamzinaki for pointing out that there is a form on the Hellenic Transplant Organisation site (scroll down to the bottom of the page). You can print it out and send it to the organisation or email them to send you the form. They will then send you an official card. If you don’t read Greek and need help filling out the form, please contact me.

UPDATE 2: Just thought it would be easier for everyone to post the translation here for the form.

???????……………………. SURNAME
?????……………………….. FIRST NAME
?????????………………… FATHER’S NAME
????. ????????………….. DATE OF BIRTH
????………………………….. STREET NAME
???????………………………HOUSE NUMBER
???.???……………………… POSTCODE
????………………………….. CITY
????????………………….. TELEPHONE NUMBER
????????…………………… SIGNATURE

4 Comments

  1. tamzinaki
    October 20, 2010    

    you’ve just prompted me to do something i should have done years ago. my form (there is one on the hellenic transplant website) is in a stamped envelope by the door, ready to be posted on next walkie … and my thoughts are with you and your mum … xxx

  2. deviousdiva
    October 20, 2010    

    @tamzinaki,
    Well done for doing that today !
    And thanks for your thoughts.
    Very much appreciated.

  3. miodrag milanovic
    November 5, 2010    

    i try become organ donor in greece like 3 times and no response…very very low organization…one more time and i will give up

  4. November 5, 2010    

    @miodrag milanovic
    Myself and a couple of friends here are trying to get registered at the moment. I will let you know what happens and if we have better luck. Perhaps it’s worth calling them?
    Anyway, I will keep you posted if I find out more. Well done and thank you for pursuing it.

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