An Post has issued a special national postage stamp highlighting the importance of organ donation to the lives of people living in Ireland ahead of Organ Donation Awareness Week which runs from March 30th to April 6th. The Organ Donors Save Lives stamp will raise awareness of the gift of life that is organ donation with donor cards also available in every Post Office.
Speaking at the GPO, Debbie Byrne Managing Director of An Post Retail said: “The new organ donation stamp will help raise public awareness by delivering a simple but a key message to customers sending and receiving mail - ‘Be An Organ Donor, Save Lives’. An Post wants to spark a national conversation in Ireland’s post offices, kitchens, cars, playgrounds and wherever families are gathering. We want staff and customers to have that chat about their wishes for donation. And we invite everyone to pick up a donor card at their local Post Office.”
Pauline May, Organ Donation Nurse Manager, Saolta University Health Care Group said: “I work with the Intensive Care Units in five hospitals, Letterkenny, Sligo, Mayo, Portiuncula and Galway University Hospitals where organ donation can take place. Together with the nurses and doctors in ICU we strive to help every patient but when that is not possible, we make every effort to support all families in their loss. I am always humbled by the selfless generosity shown by families when they make that decision to donate their loved one’s organs. It is probably the darkest day for them but in their grief, they shine a ray of hope for patients awaiting a transplant.”
Concluding her remarks, Ms May said: “Human nature is such that we rarely communicate our End of Life Care wishes with our family. The focus of my job is to ensure that if a patient’s wishes were to donate, then every opportunity is explored to fulfil their wishes. My message to everyone is to have that conversation soon, make your wishes known and ease the stress on your family trying to make a decision on your behalf.”
Designed by Zero-G, the Organ Donors Save Lives stamp and first day cover feature an hourglass timer to represent the precious nature of time and the gift of life passing from one person to another through organ donation.
The Annual Organ Donation Awareness Week organised by the Irish Kidney Association focuses on reminding individuals to talk to their families about their organ donation wishes and keep the reminders of their decision visible by carrying the organ donor card and permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s licence or downloading the ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to their smartphone.
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