Hospital clock tower and Cathedral spire set to turn pink for Organ Donation Week

Date: 23 September 2022

Medway Maritime Hospital’s clock tower, and the spire of Rochester Cathedral, will be lit in pink next week in support of Organ Donation Week (Monday 26 to Sunday 2 October 2022).

Councils, business, hospitals and community groups around the country are turning their buildings pink, which is the colour of the country’s ‘Yes I Donate’ organ donation campaign, to inspire people to tell their families that they want to be a donor and to register their decision.

Nationally, someone dies every day in need of an organ, and there are almost 7,000 people currently on the active transplant waiting list.

There are currently more than 30 million people in the UK who have registered their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register with more than 27 million of them explicitly agreeing to be an organ donor when they die, but this still only represents around 44% of the UK population.

Thanks to the generosity of 11 donors and their families, 26 patients were able to receive transplants facilitated by Medway NHS Foundation Trust in 2021/2022.

Dr Gill Fargher, Chair of Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s Organ Donation Committee, has been an advocate and champion for organ donation since the sudden and tragic death of her beloved husband Tristan in January 2015.

She said: “The subject of organ donation came up when I was told that he was going to die. Tris and I had talked about organ donation in the past and I knew what he would have wanted. It made the decision to donate his organs somewhat easier.

“My life was shattered but I know that because of Tris, four people’s lives were saved or transformed. We donated his corneas and kidneys.”

Even though the law around organ donation has now changed to an ‘opt out’ system across England, Scotland and Wales, family members will still always be involved before organ donation goes ahead. This means it is just as important as ever to register your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and ensure your friends and family know what you want and will support your decision.

“Sadly, many opportunities are lost every year in Medway and Swale because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not,” Gill added.

“That is why it’s really important to let your family know of your wishes, whether you are on the organ donation register or not.”

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It’s brilliant of Medway NHS Foundation Trust and Rochester Cathedral to show support for Organ Donation Week. The modern organ donor card is pink, and it certainly gets conversations going.

“We need people in Medway and Swale to not only talk to their families about organ donation, but to register their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. This could be the difference between life and death for someone else.”

You can record or amend your organ donation decision in the following ways:

  • Summary:

    Medway Maritime Hospital’s clock tower, and the spire of Rochester Cathedral, will be lit in pink next week in support of Organ Donation Week (Monday 26 to Sunday 2 October 2022).