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It's good to talk about hope offered by transplants.

Midland transplant campaigners are pressing families to talk about their dying wishes this week.

Campaigners have chosen National Transplant Week to highlight the need for people to ensure families know their views about transplantation.

The "It's Good to Talk" campaign is seen as vital because a transplant is one bequest that cannot be covered by a written will.

Many people carry donor cards but up to a third of potential transplant organs are lost because relatives refuse to agree to the procedure.

Mrs Beverley Cornforth, regional transplant educationalist, said: "Unless we continue to encourage more people to accept organ donation as an everyday subject and take action now through talking with friends and family, joining the NHS Organ Donor Regist er and carrying a donor card, nothing will change."

She said many families refused to agree to donate organs at a time of bereavement because they did not know the wishes of the dead person.

She said: "They will always wonder if they did the right thing.

"They will always be denied the comfort of knowing, for instance, that their loved one has stopped the taunting of a young boy disfigured from birth whose face could be reconstructed from bone tissue."

She said 300 people a year in the West Midlands were helped by transplants but another 600 were on waiting lists.

The British Transplant Games are to be held in Birmingham next year.

Organisers are seeking to raise pounds 200,000 to pay for the event which will bring together 900 athletes, all of whom have received transplants.

The chairman of the organising committee, Miss Laura Buist, a transplant surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, said: "The Transplant Games are a really emotional time for recipients, their families and the whole team of doctors, nurses i nvolved with these people's care."

Son's legacy/Page 11
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 14, 1998
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