This Organ and Tissue Donation Week, Gillian Wilson of West Kilbride has highlighted the importance of sharing your organ donation decision with loved ones following the death of her beloved husband Gavin.
Builder Gavin, 55, died unexpectedly in December 2020, and went on to become an organ donor, saving the lives of four people.
Gillian and Gavin had made sure to speak openly about organ donation with their four children, and about their wishes to become organ donors.
Deli owner Gillian, 49, said:
“The care we received from the staff at Crosshouse Hospital was exceptional. The staff and donor nurses helped us to make keepsakes of Gavin, and that time spent was caring, comforting and precious to us. I also got to spend the whole night with my wonderful husband, and they gave him a guard of honour as he was wheeled out of the ICU. I was allowed to be with my husband every step of the process.
“As a family, we are still struggling with the loss of our wonderful Gavin, but to be able to donate to others and give the gift of life, has brought us enormous comfort. We were able to turn something so tragic into something so positive. It doesn’t make everything okay, but it helps. It has been a positive ending to such a heart-breaking situation. We can’t tell you how incredibly proud we are of my husband; he’s done an amazing thing.
“Having had that conversation, I knew my husband’s wishes 150%, I was sure this is what he would’ve wanted. By having that conversation, you can make it easier on the people you leave behind. As we’d spoken about donation openly in the past, it also meant that no one in the family had any objections.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
"In Scotland, there are an average of around 500 people currently waiting on an organ transplant, however only around 1% of people die in a way that makes organ donation possible so if you are willing to donate, please make sure it is known. You could give someone a new lease of life."
To record a donation decision go online at www.organdonationscotland.org or call 0300 123 23 23. You can record your donation decision or change your decision at any time.