Organ donation (or more to the point, the lack of it) is a major problem not just in Cumbria but across the whole of the UK. Figures recently released by NHS Blood and Transplant give more than a little cause for concern. For the first time in 11 years the number of people donating organs across the UK has fallen.
This is a subject that’s very close to a Grandfather from Ulverston’s heart.
Street entertainer and retired accountant Tim Melville from Ulverston is urging people to become organ donors – particularly live kidney donors. Mr Melville ran TJ Melvilles and co, and will be known by many who attend Ulverston’s festivals for his “Uncle Tim’s Flea Circus Show”. He desperately wants to raise awareness and increase discussion about organ donation.
Mr Melville has kidney failure and is currently on the NHS transplant waiting list at Manchester Royal Infirmary. His kidney problems surfaced a decade ago after a heart bypass. Over the years they have become progressively worse and unfortunately due to a number of reasons his family can’t be a donor for him.
In an interview with The Evening Mail Mr Melville said: “I look quite well, but my kidneys are failing and I’m in a situation where I’m on the NHS transplant list at Manchester Royal Infirmary.
“I’m not yet on dialysis but I’m heading in that direction. By going on dialysis your fitness level will drop and, combined with my age, it would be very much to my advantage to get a transplant now.
“I want to encourage people to consider become donors, particularly living kidney donors because of my and other people’s positions.
“Would people consider taking that extra step and donating a kidney while they are alive? You can live a perfectly good life with one kidney.
“It is the gift of life.”
Any adult who is healthy can be a live kidney donor, and anyone who wants to donate will have to go through tests.