THREE women who each gave up a kidney have spoken about their experience to encourage more people to talk about organ donation.
Margaret Moylan donated to her sister, while Sue Dadwell and Jane Shorrock, all from Emsworth, donated altruistically to complete strangers.
I’ve been very lucky in my life health-wise and I realised I could give something back.Sue Dadwell
Margaret, 61, said: ‘I donated in 2013. My sister had kidney failure for about six years and her kidney function was going down.
‘We’re very similar and we’re both very close, we have the same blood group so it wasn’t a difficult decision.’
Margaret said the whole experience was brilliant and both her and her sister are fit and healthy.
Currently, there are around 6,500 people on the UK transplant waiting list and last year nearly 500 people died while waiting for a transplant, NHS figures show.
Anyone who wants to donate an organ after they die has to sign up for a donor card. But the government is considering a move to the same ‘opt out’ scheme for England that was introduced in Wales in 2015.
Margaret, Sue and Jane said they were all in favour of the change.
Sue, 71, said: ‘We very much hope the law changes so people have to opt out rather than opt in. I would love to see information on organ donation more accessible too.’
Unlike Margaret, Sue donated an organ to someone she has never met, after watching 82-year-old Nicholas Crace on the television, who had done exactly that.
She added: ‘He was amazing and it totally inspired me, it made me realise it was something I could do.
‘I’ve been very lucky in my life health-wise and I realised I could give something back.’
Like many who donate altruistically, Sue has never been in touch with the person who received her organ.
She said: ‘I was told he is a man in his 40s but that’s all I know.’
The three friends had never met each other prior to giving up one of their kidneys.
Margaret and Sue were put in touch with each other through a mutual friend and are now part of a small group of people who have donated organs who meet up called the Squeezed Oranges.
Members are all people who have donated organs at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
It was at the group they met Jane, 84, who decided to donate at the age of 82 to someone she had never met.
She said: ‘My son had an accident in his late teens which meant he lost one of kidneys.
‘He’s managed fine with one kidney all his life so I’ve always been kidney aware.
‘A while back I saw an appeal for donors, went forward and was accepted and the rest is history.’