Merseyside Kidney Donor celebrates World Kidney Day with incredible Organ Donor Register achievement
Paul Dixon, a Merseyside man who donated one of his kidneys to a stranger on his 65th birthday, is celebrating World Kidney Day (8 March) and the fifth anniversary of his own donation with a remarkable achievement – signing up more than 10,000 people to the organ donor register.
Paul, from Birkenhead, has been actively encouraging people to sign the register after he himself donated a kidney to a stranger as a living donor in 2013. After his donation he was invited to join the organ donation committees at Wirral University Teaching Hospital and Royal Liverpool University Hospital as a layperson. He soon realised that there wasn’t anybody promoting the Organ Donor Register on a regular basis, so volunteered himself and commenced in January 2015 doing one full day with a stand at each week at each hospital.
Remarkably, to date Paul has signed up almost 10,000 people to the organ donor register.
Since his donation, Paul has also raised money for charity Give a Kidney by having the organ donor card tattooed on his arm, and been awarded the title of Wirral Volunteer of the Year 2016 and the Local Hero award from Liverpool & Sefton Chambers of Commerce in November 2017.
Paul said about his kidney donation: “It’s amazing how a small act of kindness on my part can make a huge difference to someone else, donating a kidney was definitely the best thing I have ever done. Living donation is not for everyone, but everyone can decide to offer their organs after death, so I’m delighted to have enabled such a lot of people to make that important life-saving decision. Most of us would take an organ if we needed one and signing the organ donor register is something many people plan to do but never quite get around to. It’s very easy and only takes a couple of minutes. With so many people waiting for a transplant, every person that signs is vital so please visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk today and sign up, and make sure you let your family know of your wishes to help them make that difficult decision if that time comes,
Jan Shorrock, of Give a Kidney said: “Paul is doing fantastic work on behalf of the 5000 people in the UK waiting for a transplant. Currently several hundred people die every year in need of an organ because, sadly, not enough organs are available from deceased donors. At Give a Kidney we aim to raise awareness of the fact that humans only need one kidney and fit, healthy people can consider giving a kidney ‘altruistically’ – i.e. to a stranger, considerably improving the recipient’s quality of life and their life expectancy. Living kidney donation has been taking place in the UK since the 1960s and is now widely-practised across the UK. Although people are now regularly coming forward to donate in this way, there is still a long way to go before we make a real dent on the length of the waiting list. We recognise that living donation is not for everyone but we would still encourage everyone to sign the organ donation register to donate after their death and congratulate Paul on this wonderful achievement.”