Life-changing op spurs Sussex woman to help others

Sarah Jones is helping to launch a new organ donation scheme SUS-160509-165210001
Sarah Jones is helping to launch a new organ donation scheme SUS-160509-165210001

A Sussex woman who underwent a life-changing kidney transplant is now trying to help others.

Sarah Jones, from Burgess Hill, spent years on dialysis until she underwent her kidney swap operation in 2009.

“My life started all over again with a new-found energy and zest for life,” said Sarah.

Now she is helping to spearhead a new campaign aimed at increasing the number of organ donors.

“After spending so much time in hospital I became more aware of just how important organ donation is,” said Sarah.

“ I see first-hand so many people just waiting for that call, clinging on to the hope that someone out there will make the most selfless decision and sign the organ register.”

Sarah, a trustee for the national charity Live Life Give Life, is helping to highlight an NHS Blood and Transplant campaign entitled ‘Turn an end into a beginning’ in the hope that it will encourage more people to become an organ donor. The campaign was launched on Monday at the start of Organ Donation Week.

Also taking part is Dr Simon Howell, also from Burgess Hill, who is suffering from kidney failure for the second time in his life and is now awaiting his second kidney.

He knows that transplant isn’t a cure but also knows that his quality of life will improve and he won’t have to endure hours of painful dialysis.

Ultimately, he say, he will be able to watch his children grow up and enjoy their precious moments.

Sarah Jones added: “Almost all of us would take an organ if we needed one, however less than one-third of us have actually signed the organ donor register. 

“By taking just a few minutes to sign up, you could save up to nine lives after you’ve gone. Organ donation could affect anyone; it’s vital that people take the time to think about it and talk to their families about their wishes.  That will save them a lot of angst at an already difficult time.”

 You can sign the organ donor register online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk  or by phoning 0300 123 23 23. For further information visit www.livelifegivelife.org.uk