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Daily runs front page plea urging parents to consider child organ donation

A regional daily used its front page to share anxious families’ pleas for bereaved parents to donate their children’s organs.

Newcastle daily The Chronicle splashed on the call as the city’s Freeman Hospital aims to raise awareness of the issue.

Parents of children waiting for life-saving heart transplants came together to talk to The Chronicle about their experience of waiting for life-saving heart transplants for their children.

The Chronicle splashed on the appeal on Friday 22 July, pictured below.

Chronicle donor

The Freeman has one of just two specialist units carrying out heart and lung transplants for children, meaning families travel hundreds of miles for care.

On average, children wait 88 days for an urgent heart transplant – double the length of time adults wait.

Savana Bell, whose 10-month-old daughter Leyla is awaiting a transplant, told The Chronicle: “I wish there was another way but there isn’t.

“And I can understand why some people say no as they are being asked to donate an organ at the worst time in their lives; when they’ve been told they will never see their child awake again.

“I’d just hope they’d take solace in the fact that their child lives on in someone else. All we are asking is for people to have that conversation.

“If you asked 1,000 people, would they accept an organ if they needed it, they would because they want to live – and that’s all we want to do, I want to give my daughter that chance too.”

Stuart Mains, father to three-year-old patient Ethan, added: . “It’s probably the worst time possible to be asked to consider organ donation – just after a child has died – that’s such a horrendous difficult time but we are hoping that if people are more aware of reality of the waiting times and what these children have to go through on a daily basis, then it might be something they have already thought about.

“Organ donation is such an abstract thing you never really think about it until you need to. I hope we can bring a little bit of human connection.

“It is a horrific situation, and I wouldn’t wish it on anybody, all we can ask is that anyone who finds themselves faced with this decision gives it a little consideration and thought.”