A YORK woman who has nine hours of dialysis a day has urged people to join the organ donor register – as it emerged there are 45 people currently waiting for life-saving kidney transplants in North Yorkshire.
Jayne Jackson, 55, of Haxby, has been waiting for a kidney transplant for two years after becoming seriously ill with kidney disease and seeing her kidney function fall to eight per cent.
Mrs Jackson, whose condition is well managed by nightly peritoneal dialysis, has urged people to sign up to the register to address a shortage of donors.
She said: “If there is no kidney, there is no kidney. It doesn’t matter how ill you are. If there’s a match, there’s a match.
“I wish people would sign up and people need to be thinking about it before that situation arises.”
There are about 125 people in North Yorkshire waiting for a transplant, and another 66 waiting in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Last year 14 people in North and East Yorkshire died because of the shortage of organs.
York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said there are about 45 people awaiting a kidney transplant on a list which covers York, Scarborough and Harrogate.
Jo Brooks, donor transplant co-ordinator for the Trust, said: “On average, three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there aren’t enough organs available. More lives would be saved if more families agree to donate their loved one’s organs after death. Sadly, four out of ten families don’t give permission to donate when approached.
“The decision to donate a loved one’s organs falls to the family if you die in circumstances where you can donate. If you’ve already talked about it, your family won’t have the burden of having to guess what you would have wanted at an incredibly difficult time and they are more likely to support your decision to donate.
“Just 45 per cent of families agree to organ donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one’s decision to be a donor but this figure rises to 95 per cent when they know the decision.”
NHS figures show there were 7,026 patients waiting for a transplant nationally at the end of March 2014.
Last year 456 patients died while on the active waiting list for their transplant and a further 828 were removed from the transplant list. The removals were mostly as a result of deteriorating health and ineligibility for transplant and many of these patients would have died shortly afterwards.
Last year 53 people living in North Yorkshire and 22 in East Yorkshire benefited from a life-saving organ transplant thanks to families making the decision to donate when a loved one died.
To sign up to become an organ donor, visit http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/
Jayne has waited more than two years for kidney transplant
WHEN Jayne Jackson became very seriously ill with kidney disease she had no choice but to step down from her demanding job with Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Despite having been diagnosed with polycystic kidneys over 30 years ago, the condition had not affected her until about three years ago when she was unable to get over an illness.
Feeling sick, tired and lethargic, Mrs Jackson was permanently exhausted, until she started daily peritoneal dialysis at home and saw a dramatic change in her health.
“It came as a shock to me,” Mrs Jackson said, “I had gone all those years being well to being almost housebound.
“When I started dialysis I felt so much better, I thought ‘this is a mini miracle'”.
Mrs Jackson has been on a transplant waiting list for two years as even though her close relatives have been tested, none are a suitable match.
Now staff at York Hospital send other patients to speak to Mrs Jackson about the positives of dialysis. “I met one lady in her 60s who looked awful,” she said, “She was exhausted. I said to her, ‘just do it, you can’t explain how much better you will feel'”.
Mrs Jackson said the treatment works so effectively , she does not often think about her personal need for a transplant. “I don’t think about it while the dialysis is keeping me well,” she said.