Taking donation message to streets
The Bermuda Organ Donor Association appealed yesterday for the public to consider organ donation and to make their wishes clear to their families.
The news came as the association greeted morning commuters at Crow Lane roundabout and encouraged them to sign up to give “the gift that keeps on living”.
Kerry Brislane, the BODA treasurer, said: “Our message is pretty simple — we’d like people to have the conversation about what their wishes would be with their family members.
“The gift of organ donation is a tremendously generous thing to do, and the impact this can have on the recipients lives is definitely life-changing, and can be life-saving.
“If families have discussed and agreed on their wishes, it makes it so much easier if they are ever asked the question.”
Dr Brislane, a hospital anaesthesiologist, was speaking as the island kicked off Organ Donor Week.
She said statistics from the New England Donor Service showed that there had been 13 organ donors from Bermuda in the past decade.
Donors ranged in age from 16 to 73 and a total of 24 kidneys, 13 livers, five hearts, eight lungs and three pancreas were donated.
Dr Brislane said: “The only way to assert your wishes is on your driver’s licence, but ultimately your family will get to decide.
“We would like to see the Organ Donor Register formalised by the Government, as it is already in the legislature.”
“This would mean people could sign up and be assured that their wishes will be adhered to.
“This takes a lot of pressure off families.
“Organ donation is the gift that keeps on living. In the words of Maya Angelou, ‘Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud’.”
The group will run radio interviews, information advertisements in The Royal Gazette and talk to the public to answer questions about the organ donation process.
“We decided to do the morning wave as it is a good way to reach a lot of people in an informal way and make them think, ‘hey, what is that all about?’
“In recent years, we have been trying to find new ways of reaching a bigger audience and so we thought we’d try a popular Bermuda way”.
“It was a lovely way to start our Monday with lots of smiles and waves and toots from the people coming passed.”
She added: “We are hoping that after seeing us on the roundabout people might then be prompted to read and listen to the information provided.”
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