First paediatric organ donation in 10 years

​​​The team have been given the Chief Executive's Award for their work - Paula Clark, CEO, presented them with their certificate at a special 'Thank you' event recently

The North Midlands has seen its first proceeding paediatric organ donation in ten years, thanks to a very special patient and the work of a dedicated team. The organ donation team received 100% referrals from the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), meaning that a number of children have benefitted from the donations of another child. The team also recently recruited the highest number of donors in the West Midlands, helping over 60 people to receive a transplant.

Leeanne Clay, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation and Transplantation, said: "In our field we have the massive privilege of working with some amazing families and, most importantly, very special patients. It is an unusual area of work in many ways, because we see both sides of a situation – loss on one side and hope on the other. But what we often find is that families who agree to donate feel it helps with their grief and that they feel an enormous sense of pride at knowing their loved one gave others the chance of a new beginning."

The 100% referral rate from PICU means that every child who is being considered for withdrawal of treatment has been referred to Organ Donation Services. Across adult and children's services, the team have been able to retrieve a total of 94 organs in the last year. They have been given the Chief Executive's Award in recognition of their work.

Paula Clark, Chief Executive, said: "What this team does takes an incredible amount of knowledge and sensitivity. By the very nature of their work, they are approaching patients and families at a very difficult time to ask them to think of others. It is testament to the selflessness of our patients and families and the skill of our amazing team that so many people have been given a second chance. I'm very happy to recognise the team's dedication and accomplishment in making this difference."

Leeanne said: "We were totally overwhelmed to receive the award, but really thrilled. We are hugely proud to work in Organ Donation. Whilst we are doing incredibly well here at UHNM, we know that hundreds of transplants are being missed around the country every year because families aren't aware of their relative's wishes. We still need a family's support to go ahead with an organ donation, even if someone is on the NHS Organ Donor Register, so if you would like to be a donor, please tell your family - a few words now can make an extraordinary difference to someone in the future."