Leeds United stars learn more about Organ Donation Week.
Patrick Bamford spent the morning of his 26th birthday at St James’s Hospital in Leeds to learn more about Organ Donation Week, an annual campaign that aims to raise awareness around the organ donor register.
The Whites’ striker was joined by Leeds United Women FC player Olivia Smart during the visit, and Olivia is particularly familiar with the subject as she works at the local hospital as a Liver and Kidney Transplant Nurse.
The duo visited the Leeds Liver Unit on arrival and were met by Steve Pollard, a Consultant Liver Transplant Surgeon, who gave some background on the topic of organ donation, talking about the process for transplant patients, the importance of donors and their life-saving actions and the improvements in technology that can now help to keep organs preserved for a longer period of time before a transplant is able to take place. During the chat, it was also highlighted how important it is to discuss the subject of donating organs with your loved ones, although it may be a difficult conversation to have it is crucial in ensuring your wishes are honoured.
The Leeds United stars then spent time meeting some of the patients currently receiving treatment on the Liver Unit, including those who have recently had a successful transplant and those still waiting for an organ, before making their way across to the Dialysis Ward where they learned more about kidney transplants and the importance of dialysis in keeping patients alive whilst waiting for a kidney to become available.
Patrick Bamford, who is currently the club's top goal scorer for the 2019/20 campaign, said: “I’ve really enjoyed being here today, meeting some of the staff and patients and learning so much more about organ donation.
“When you see first-hand people who need a transplant and people who have been fortunate enough to find a donor, it’s a real eye-opener. You can see the way it has changed people’s lives through successful transplants and it makes it all worth it.
“The fact that they (transplant coordinators) can react so quickly and get things sorted straight away and restore someone to the way they were beforehand is brilliant.
“Sometimes when you are playing football and you start playing football just because you love the game, you can forget that you could be someone’s role model and things you do can have a positive effect on people, so when you get chance to come out and do things like this and raise awareness on important subjects it's crucial.”
Organ Donation Week shines a light on the generosity of donors and the incredible impact they have on transplant recipients, whilst also highlighting the importance of talking about organ donation and keeping the topic relevant. The annual campaign is focused on raising awareness around the organ donor register, and is also an opportunity to educate, inform and inspire people, to help save and improve more lives.
If you would like more information on organ donation, please click here.
To register your decision with regards to becoming an organ donor, please click here.