One of the UK’s first double transplant recipients has urged more people to sign the organ donor register on the back of National Transplant Week.
Dr Claire Corps from Ripon underwent a kidney transplant in 1980 at the age of just 12 before undergoing another transplant after suffering liver failure 17 years later.
These experiences inspired the 47-year-old to pursue a career in the health industry at St James’s Hospital as well as campaigning continuously for transplant recipients to share their story.
And that is exactly what Claire did after her kidney transplant as a child and she discovered the benefits of it more than 30 years later.
She said: “I went to the Transplant Games this year and donor families also attend. I was speaking to a donor dad whose son was killed after being hit by a car.
“I asked him if it was a hard decision to make, putting his son on the donor list, and he said no because as a child his son had watched a Blue Peter show where they chatted to children who had transplants.
“His son said after watching it that if anything ever happened to him then he must be on the donor list. He was only 11 when he said this but his dad still remembered.
“I told him that the strange thing is I was one of those children on Blue Peter and he turned and hugged me so I asked him, what are you hugging me?
“He said, ‘nothing could save my son but, because of what you did, my son lived on in other people and I could see that by other transplant patients so his story continued.”
Claire is now urging more people to sign up to the donor register as well as talking to their family and relatives about their decision.
As part of last week’s National Transplant Week, Claire was pushing St James’s ‘Be A Hero’ campaign and explained the importances of signing on the list.
She said: “In the Ripon region there have been six people I know who have undergone kidney transplants in the last 12 months but they are not the only ones waiting.
“I would urge people who have had transplants to tell their story. I have been telling my story for years and I know it has made a difference.
“If you needed a transplant would you take one? If yes, you have to be willing to put your name on the register.”