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Mum, who tragically lost her son, supports National Transplant Week

       5 July 2012

A mum whose young son saved the lives of six others after he died in a road accident is encouraging people to sign-up to the Organ Donor Register during National Transplant Week 9-13 July.

With three people dying every day whilst waiting for organs, National Transplant Week is the annual UK-wide awareness week to increase understanding of organ donation and encourage more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Liz Docker’s son Simon was nine when he passed away in 1994, after being knocked down crossing the road near his home and sustaining a severe head injury. Liz and her husband, Steve,made the decision to donate Simon’s organs.

Liz, from Ashbourne, Derbyshire, is a nurse at Treetops Hospice and said: “We offered Simon’s organs for donation – his heart had been affected by treatment, so was unsuitable. His lungs, liver, both kidneys and both corneas were successfully transplanted, improving the lives of six recipients. We know that even after more than 17 years, one of Simon’s kidneys continues to maintain good health for the recipient, so there is still a little piece of him out there somewhere.

“When Simon’s accident happened, the decision to go ahead with donation was not difficult for us. However, I do appreciate that other people might find it harder than we did, and I would encourage them to think in terms of trying to get at least a small positive outcome from a tragic situation.

“Joining the Organ Donor Register is so simple – just do it, tell your family what your wishes are, and then get on with living the rest of your life. It is actually very unlikely that the worst will happen, but if it does, you will have enabled a wonderful gift to be given.”

 The theme of the 2012 awareness week is ‘Pass it On’, with people not only being encouraged to register as a donor but to pass on to the people closest to them what their wishes are, so it doesn’t come as a surprise at a time when the they are trying to deal with their loss. For more information visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

To promote National Transplant Week, there will be an information stand in the main foyer of the Royal Derby Hospital on 10, 11, 12 and 13 July between 1.30-3.30pm. On hand to answer any questions people may have about organ donation, as well as information about signing up to the Organ Donor Register, will be specialist nurses and personnel from the Trusts Organ Donation Committee.

While organ transplant operations themselves are not carried out at the Royal Derby Hospital, patients are cared for here in the lead up to their transplant operation and afterwards. However, patients waiting for transplants such as heart, lungs or liver are referred elsewhere, and will receive their pre and post-operative care at that centre. They will, however, come back under the care of their consultant here in Derby. 

Consultant in intensive care medicine and clinical lead for organ donation, Dr Marco Giovannelli, said: “Organ donation saves lives. Here at Derby Hospitals we are committed to fulfilling the wishes of the individual and their loved ones and discuss organ donation when it is appropriate, accessing the NHS Organ Donor Register to assist the sensitivedecision making in end of life care.

I would encourage everyone to support NHS Blood & Transplant’s annual UK-wide awareness week, consider what they would want for themselves and then, if appropriate, sign the Register.” 

You can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by:

  • Filling in a form at www.uktransplant.org.uk
  • Calling the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23
    (Lines are open 24 hours a day all year round. Calls are charged at your contracted rate for local calls)
  • By texting SAVE to 84118

You can also join when you are:

  • Registering for a driving licence
  • Applying for a Boots Advantage Card
  • Registering at a GP surgery
  • Registering for a European Health Insurance card (EHIC)

Leaflets are also displayed in GP surgeries, libraries and many hospitals and pharmacies.


For further information, please contact:

Liz Smith

Communications Officer
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
01332 785778