NNUH marks Organ Donation Week 2021

Today, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust marks the start of Organ Donor Week 2021 by paying tribute to everyone who has gone on to help save the lives of others following their death.

In the last 12 months, 29 families at NNUH have said yes to organ donation with 19  patients going on to donate following their death. This has allowed 56 organs to be donated to those waiting a life-saving transplant.
NNUH Medical Director Professor Erika Denton said: “We are always grateful to the families and loved ones of donors who, at the most challenging of times, and with immense generosity, give another family a new chance at life.”

This year NNUH marks the week with a number of events including the lighting up of city landmarks including Norwich Cathedral, Norwich Castle, City Hall, the Norwich Ski Slope as well as the hospital itself.

The buildings will be lit up this evening at a special event. We will be joined by many donor families as well as dancers and singers who will be performing at the Forum. We will also be joined by the Lord Mayor of Norwich. The event organised by the Specialist Nurses for Organ Donation, based at the NNUH, will signal the start of a week to raise awareness of the importance of talking to family members about your wishes in the event of an untimely death.

NNUH Clinical Lead for Organ Donation, Deborah Easby, said: “While most people agree that it is important to talk to their family about organ donation, it is less likely that they will have actually had this important conversation. Please let your family know your wishes around organ donation. Having these important conversations will make it much easier for families if there comes a time when organ donation is a possibility.”

A sentiment echoed by Nick Hext whose wife Jo, who was a member of the admin team at NNUH, died in 2018 after suffering a bleed on her brain. Nick, a former NNUH nurse of 23 years standing, and an organ recipient himself, said: “I knew it was important to Jo, but this had to be a family decision. I didn’t want any recriminations further down the line. It is really important that everyone is heard and I wanted to talk to her three sons and her parents.”

“It never is as simple as the person having a donor card. It is such an emotive issue and you are being asked to make such important decisions when you are at the very lowest point of your life.”

Natalie Ashley,  NHS B&T Specialist Nurse, said: “We have the privilege of meeting some incredible families, who have made the selfless decision to support their loved ones to help save and improve the lives of others through the gift of organ donation.”

  • Find out more and register your decision by visiting NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk and share your decision with your family.

Case studies are available by emailing communications@nnuh.nhs.uk

A video featuring interviews from families and the organ donation team at NNUH can be viewed here: