A NEWPORT mother and son have spoken out about the importance of organ donation, as a new campaign is launched ahead of legislation change in Wales

The campaign, It’s About Time, is aimed at raising support for new organ donation legislation which comes into force in Wales on December 1, 2015. It is hoped the law will increase the number of organ donors through a soft opt-out system for consent.

In 2012, 35 people died in Wales waiting for an organ donation. Jan and William Rogers, a mother and son from Newport, have experienced first-hand the effects of organ donation and support the legislation proposals.

Under the new system an individual will become a donor by either registering a decision to opt in or by doing nothing at all, in which case their consent may be deemed. Alternately, an individual can opt-out.

Sixteen-year-old William suffers from cystic fibrosis, like his mother, and is likely to require a lung transplant later in life. But his mother has been given new lease of life thanks to a successful double lung transplant operation in 2010.

Mr Rogers said: “Organ donation gives new life to so many people but it’s one of those things that’s never talked about. If kids my age were simply told more about it, say as part of the curriculum, they would grow up accepting organ donation as a good thing.”

The operation was vital to Ms Rogers, who at the time had been given less than six weeks to live. She said: “Waiting for the call about a possible transplant is absolutely nerve-wracking. I waited 11 months and received three calls – two of which came to nothing.

“Lots of my friends signed up as organ donors when they saw the distress I was in and I think more people need to be made aware of the difference they can make simply by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register today.”

Mark Drakeford, Welsh Government Health Minister, said, “In Wales, more than 250 lives are ‘on a clock’ waiting for an organ donor, living in the hope that time does not run out for them and a donor is found. We are changing the law to help people on the donor waiting list.”