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Organ Donation – Registering Our Babies

by Katie Hodgkins

Organ Donation – Registering Our Babies

There are currently 6,500 people in the UK waiting for a transplant – including 150 children.

It hurts my heart to think of those poor little mites and their parents… languishing. Waiting. Hoping.

It’s a pair of shoes that I hope that I never have to fill, and I am sure that you can relate.

The NHS Blood and Transplant Department say that they will only use organ and tissue from a donor with their consent – or their family’s consent – after they die, meaning that parents can sign their child on to the NHS Organ Donor Register even from the point that baby is born!

However, lots of parents are hesitant, for many different reasons.

  • “I hate the thought of my child not being ‘whole’ once they’ve passed on.”
  • “I don’t even want to think about it… just the thought of being in that situation makes me feel ill.”
  • “Honestly… ignorance is bliss. You never think it’ll happen to you, and you stash it to the back of your mind…”
  • “Call me superstitious but to me it’s just tempting fate.”

It’s a difficult question… on the one hand, organ donation is an AMAZING thing to do especially considering the shortage of donors. 150 little babies are currently languishing, waiting for a match that may never come.

On the other hand, lots of parents see it as ‘tempting fate’, the idea makes them HAVE to think about a scenario that they’d rather never have to even contemplate… the loss of a child and that child no longer being ‘whole’.

I considered registering my son for a long time but every time I went to do it, I found myself plagued with nightmarish images of my son on life support or worse. I felt daft. I eventually bit the bullet I can understand why many parents struggle to even think about preemptively registering their little ones.

God forbid anything did happen, you can always give permission at the hospital if they ask, but in that scenario would you even be in the right frame of mind to think about such a thing? I can imagine that lots of parents immediately veto the suggestion because they’ve never had time to even consider it and the loss of their child is the WORST possible time.

My Perspective…

If you’d take an organ for your precious, cherished child without hesitation then in my eyes you should be willing to reciprocate.

It is a horrible thing to have to think about, the passing of your child, but flip it around and think about how parents of children on the Organ Donation register feel and cope with the wait for that phone call, the sorrow when it’s a false alarm, the desperation, the devastation when it is too late.

I can understand why people decline to allow their child’s organs to be donated when put on the spot in that scenario but this is why we should think about it NOW, consider it NOW, register NOW preemptively to save ourselves any extra agony in the tiny infinitesimal chance of ever being in that position. Your decision could literally save lives!

That said, I understand why some parents aren’t happy or comfortable with the concept.

Interested in registering yourself and your little ones? You can register here!

Are your kids registered as organ donors, and what motivated you towards your decision? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading – I hope that this has been food for thought!

Love from Katie. Xx


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