'You have it in you to save a life' – NHS Highland holds information event in Inverness about being a living donor
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AN information evening for people interested in finding out more about becoming a living donor will be held in Inverness today.
Health professionals and patients will be on hand at the event, which will take place in Raigmore Hospital from 7pm-9pm.
Lynda Maclean, transplant liaison nurse specialist for NHS Highland, said most living donations happen among family members or between close friends however some people choose to donate to someone they don’t know and so become altruistic living donors.
“In the last decade, the number of kidney transplants from deceased donors has increased by 50 per cent, with 2577 kidney transplants taking place last year in the UK, but, despite this, the average waiting time for a kidney is currently about two years," she said.
“However kidneys can also be donated from living donors such as a relative, partner or friend who offers a kidney to a specific individual. This allows for a planned operation and the transplant can happen before the patient starts dialysis.
“Becoming a living donor is something that more people are becoming aware of and this annual event is a great opportunity for those who are interested to come along and hear from the staff who perform transplants and work with our renal patients. There is the opportunity also to hear from a living kidney donor and a recipient about their individual stories.”
Jacqui Robb (45) from Inverness, is currently receiving haemodialysis at Raigmore Hospital after her renal transplant failed earlier this year.
She said: "I went into renal failure in my early 20s but, after seven years on dialysis, I was lucky enough to get a kidney transplant from a deceased donor.
"My transplant was another chance for me to live a life I would never have had otherwise. It’s impossible to sum up years of life experiences into a sentence but I owe my donor everything.
"I know transplants only last so long but even so, I was devastated when I was told that 16 years after my transplant I was in renal failure again.
"With the number of people awaiting a transplant greater than the number of donors, and with no family members being suitable, I know that a living donor is my best chance.
"I'd really encourage anyone who is interested in finding out more to attend the event if they can. You have it in you to save a life."