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Recently you may have become more aware of organ donation. Locally there is the ‘Life After Drew Campaign’ aiming to increase the awareness of the public on the importance of becoming an organ donor. In the past weeks, whilst scrolling on social media you may have seen pictures of several celebrities and personalities making the sign of a heart and using the caption “HAND ON HEART how selfless can you be”? What does it mean to become and organ donor and how do you become one?

Organ donation means to give an organ to a person who is awaiting to receive a transplant. Through this procedure, the person who receives the organ can be saved. Some organs can be donated when a person is still alive through a medical operation for example, a kidney. However, most organs and tissues can be donated when a person dies.

Becoming an organ donor is one of the most altruistic things you can ever do in your life. It is an excellent opportunity to help others. The quality of life of the people waiting to receive a transplant is usually quite deteriorated. Thus, receiving an organ can be a life changing event for them. The organ waiting lists continue to grow worldwide thus, the need for more organ donors is definitely there. Unfortunately, some people never make it without the transplant and therefore they die because there would be no available organs. There is no age limit on organ donation thus, even if a person is in their late adulthood they can still be considered. Surgeons always evaluate organs to check if they are suitable for a specific transplant. They need to take decisions whether organs are healthy or not no matter who and how old the donor is.

Sometimes, when a person dies and they donate their organs, it helps their family members to cope with the loss knowing that the death of their loved one helped to save other lives. Discuss becoming an organ donor with your loved ones and inform them of your decision.

Go on, be a hero and become an organ donor. You can sign up on https://organdonation.gov.mt/

Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on marilyn@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.