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`Talk about it` - father of organ donor`s message as law set to change.

Author: undefined Published: 9th May 2019 22:05

When popular young rugby player and farmer Josh Gilbert died unexpectedly more than a year ago his family already knew his wishes for organ donation.

Josh, aged 25, from Walsham Le Willows near Bury St Edmunds, collapsed and died  while he played  for Thurston Rugby club but his organs have since "revolutionised the quality of life" for more than 60 people.

 Josh pictured on the right above

Now with the law on organ donation set to change, his father Howard Gilbert has stressed  the importance of discussing organ donation wishes with loved ones as NHS Blood and Transplant launches a campaign to increase awareness.

From Spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.

The year long campaign `Pass it on` wants people to consider organ donation as a "precious gift` to make and share their decision and spread the word about the law change.

Howard had a simple message `Talk about it" he said. "Any legislation change that enables one human being to save the life of another has to be welcomed. Furthermore , if there is no material cost to the process then what  could be wrong?

"However, since Joshua `s untimely departure, we have been made acutely aware of just how divided personal opinion on the destiny of ones organs and body tissue can be. "

"Therefore, the crucial factor is knowing the exact wishes of each family member and that can only be discovered by holding a potentially uncomfortable conversation.

"We count ourselves fortunate in knowing thanks to Josh`s desire for clarity in so many aspects of his life, just what his wishes were."

He added that thanks to the volume of his body tissue parts that were utilised, he has now massively improved the quality of life for more than 50 people - a number that will continue to rise as  time elapses thanks to the longevity of the tissues donated.

To join the organ donor register phone 0300 123 23 23 or visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/register-your-details/

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