The daughters of a woman waiting on a kidney transplant today unveiled their specially designed festive gift wrap, which will be used to help encourage Scots to join the NHS Organ Donor Register this Christmas.
Shoppers will be offered a free present wrapping service in locations across Scotland from this weekend, in the hope they’ll return the festive goodwill by taking two minutes out of their day to join the Register.
Erin, 8, and Kara Sibbald, 10, from East Kilbride displayed their artistic skills as part of their wish that 2016 will be the year their mother Tricia Sibbald, 36, gets her kidney transplant.
Tricia, who is on dialysis three times a week, has been on the waiting list for a donor kidney since 2011.
The Sibbald family, who visited Santa’s Grotto at intu Braehead today, are backing the Organ Donation Scotland festive campaign as new figures show that 3,937 big hearted Scots joined the NHS Organ Donor Register last December.
The campaign is hoping to build on this by urging those who haven’t got around to joining the NHS Organ Donor Register to make this December count. Wrapping stations will pop up in Renfrewshire, Dundee, Aberdeen, Glenrothes, Stirling and the Lothians between now and Christmas.
Less than one per cent of deaths in Scotland occur in circumstances where the person is able to donate their organs, so the more people that register, the more likely someone will be able to get the life-changing transplant they are desperately waiting for.
In Scotland, 42 per cent of people are currently on the NHS Organ Donor Register, however there are around 560 people waiting.
Mum of three Tricia said:
“The girls were really proud to be asked to design the wrapping paper to help raise awareness. They are more than aware of what is going on with my health and loved being part of something that they felt was helping. With so many people in Scotland waiting like me, I hope it helps make a difference.”
Tricia suffered a lifetime of urine and kidney infections which caused extensive scarring and damage to her kidneys. Her pregnancies caused further strain, and the decline in her kidney function following the birth of her daughter Erin resulted in her being listed for transplant in 2011 and starting dialysis the following year.
Speaking about life on the transplant list, Tricia said:
“It’s always there, but some days I can be busy and don’t really think about it. Then there’s days when you’re trying to plan something like a trip away or a night out and you wonder whether you shouldn’t because that might be the day you get the call. I’m pretty restricted being on dialysis anyway, so it’s just something you live with day to day.
“Getting that call would mean everything to me. Not as much for me, but for my family. I feel my three kids can’t get the best of their mum because I’m on dialysis 12 hours a week and sometimes can feel really unwell. My diet is so restricted as well. Not having to watch what foods I eat, and being able to drink more than just a litre of fluids a day would make such a huge difference to my life.
“Apart from having my health and more independence, it would mean my kids would be able to enjoy their time with me a bit better, which would mean the world.”
Maureen Watt, Minister for Public Health said:
“Everyone has it in them to save a life this Christmas. During the season of goodwill, taking two minutes to join the NHS Organ Donor Register has the potential to change the life of someone waiting.
“The reality is that if you’re not on the Register, it’s less likely that your family will donate your organs. The message we want to get across is that the more people that register, the more lives that can be saved.
“I hope Tricia’s story and the fabulous artwork of her two children inspire people to act. If you support organ donation, make this Christmas count.”
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit organdonationscotland.org.