I was delighted to visit the clinical team at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary recently who have helped deliver a 400 per cent increase in deceased organ donors in NHS Grampian over the last four years.
To break this down, in 2014/15 there were 15 deceased organ donors in Grampian.
There were only three in 2010/11.
Thanks to the generosity of these donors and their families, the lives of many people on the transplant waiting list have now been saved or enhanced.
Real progress is being made and it is heartening to see that since 2008 there has been an 82 per cent increase in deceased donor numbers, a 42 per cent increase in the number of transplants undertaken and the active transplant waiting list reduced by over 20 per cent.
It is essential to praise the health professionals who make this possible and who make these statistics a reality through their tireless efforts. Also, organ donations only occur as a result of tragedy, and I would like to pay tribute to the organ donors and their families who have made the decision to help others.
I am hopeful that the lessons learned here in Grampian can be replicated in other hospitals across Scotland so that the numbers of those willing to donate organs increases.
I have met people that have had their lives transformed with the gift of a donated organ and are incredibly grateful for this renewed opportunity to enjoy life.
It is so important to have the “Wee Chat” about your wishes with loved ones as experience has shown that families are much more likely to agree to donation going ahead if they know this is what the deceased person wanted.
This is a conversation worth having.