Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 17:54 UK

Transplants: Your Stories

The government will ban all private transplants of organs from dead British donors to stop foreign patients paying for scarce organs needed within the NHS.

You have been sending us your transplant stories. Here is a selection:

ERMINE HUNTE, LUTON
Ermine with her father Leroy

I was on dialysis for three years and things were getting serious. As soon as the word "transplant" was mentioned, my dad and sister offered to donate their kidneys, without me knowing. They did all sorts of tests - blood, tissue, fitness, health. My dad was a good match and last October he donated a kidney to me. The operation went really well, better than expected. But once it's done you don't just walk off into the sunset - my new kidney will probably last about 15 years.

There are so many people waiting and many die while waiting for organ donations. Why should people from other countries jump the queue? I know we're all part of Europe but when it comes to the NHS we've paid our dues. My dad shouldn't have to have gone through this - there should be enough donors here. I know some older people who have taken themselves off the waiting list so the younger people on the list have a higher chance of having a transplant. It's heart-rending.

SARAH LOUISE HAMPTON, MIDDLESEX

Sarah Louise Hampton

I had a heart transplant 12 years ago when I was nine-years-old; if I didn't get a heart I would have died. I had cardiomyopathy, which meant my heart was four times bigger than it should have been. Luckily I was only on the transplant list for three days. I will be on immuno-suppressant drugs for the rest of my life, but apart from that my life is fine.

Now hearing that organs can be bought and transplants received through purchase is horrendous and unbelievable. There would have been no way I could have got my heart without the NHS, but for people to be able to jump the waiting list because they have the finances to do so is outrageous. It's morally wrong. Life does not have a price. Organ donation is not advertised enough, I think people need to be made aware of the current situation.

BARRY CALCUTT, CARTERTON, OXFORDSHIRE

Barry Calcutt

I went for a screening and found my blood pressure was a bit high. They suggested I went along to a doctor. It started getting worse and worse and worse so they put me on the kidney transplant list. I was only on it for three months. The whole thing took just nine days at hospital in Oxford. I felt so much better within the first day. The only trouble is taking all the tablets and anti-rejection drugs. They thin your skin and make you more susceptible to skin cancer. It was fifteen-years-ago, I was 49 then and a communications engineer. It came as a shock really. You don't realise how quickly you go downhill. But I was off work for just three months.

I think it's dreadful that people are paying for transplants. Why should people who've got loads of money bypass someone else who hasn't? I think it's brilliant that people carry donor cards, but I'd like to see more. It's a bit of a waste being cremated when they can keep someone else's life going for another 20 years or so. I shall never forget the day I had my transplant. Since then I've been abroad - all over the place. As long as I remember to take my tablets I can live my life as before.

MARGARET, CHESHIRE

My husband Gordon had a kidney transplant five years ago. He was on tablets for high blood pressure and they made his kidney shrink. He was back and forth to the doctor and eventually they put him on dialysis. It was such a shock the first time he had it. He had to give up his job as a maths teacher because he was having dialysis three times a day.

I agree with this decision wholeheartedly
Margaret, Cheshire

It was like that for two years but then we got the call and he was so lucky because the new kidney worked perfectly for him.

I carry a donor card and have done so for years. I wouldn't like to think someone is going to jump the queue and get my organs. I think they should concentrate on helping people in the UK, not foreigners. I agree with this decision wholeheartedly.

WILLIAM PHILLIPS, BIDDENDEN, KENT

At Last! My dear wife Christine died waiting for a liver transplant. She was 67 and died in 2003.

Christine Phillips

We have been left devastated. In hospital, there were two other patients next to her from Europe. They received their livers (one woman for the second time) because they had paid for them.

My wife was born in the UK, paid into the NHS all her working life, and the NHS list failed her. It is not working the way it should be. When you pay into the NHS you think it's like an insurance - you get out of it what you pay in. The Health Secretary needs to implement this without further delay. No consultation required.

DAVID CRIDGE, ERSKINE, SCOTLAND

I found out because I had a headache. It was a Monday morning. I went to see the doctor that day and my blood pressure was through the roof.

David Cridge

They phoned me the following day to say they wanted me in hospital. They discovered I only had one kidney and it was failing. I was 38 at the time. It was a big shock.

The first transplant I had was in July 1994 and it lasted for five and a half years. Unfortunately, the function only worked 25% and I was actually better off on dialysis. The second I got in 2001, it clotted and burst so it only lasted a week. It was very, very painful. I swore I was never going through it again. But I'm back on the list. I've waited nearly nine years.

It annoys me to think someone can come along and buy one while others wait. It should go to the first person on the list. My sons offered me a transplant but I wouldn't take it from them. I'd be worried that something would happen to them later on in life. It's very much an inconvenience. I dialyse at home, five hours a time, three times a week. I've been doing it for nearly twenty years. My wife is my carer. She puts me on and takes me off. My personal opinion is that people should opt out of donations rather than opt in. An awful lot of organs go to waste.






Print Sponsor



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2016 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific