Organ Donation Week: Celebrating ten years since successful transplant

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This week is Organ Donation Week, and people across the country are being encouraged to sign up to the organ donation register and share their wishes with family members.

James Hodgson was just nine weeks old when he started showing signs of liver failure.

James Hodgson, 12, is celebrating 10 years since his liver transplant.

James Hodgson, 12, is celebrating 10 years since his liver transplant.

He was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder known as alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency. By the age of two, his liver had started to harden and he was developing varicose veins in his oesophagus.

He was signed up to the organ donor register and was lucky enough to find a match in just eight days.

Organ Donation Week: Mum takes comfort in her son’s decision to donate his organs

Rachel Hodgson, James’ mum, said: “Transplants are quite surreal. Nobody ever thinks they’re going to need somebody who’s going to need one.

Organ Donation Week 2018

Organ Donation Week 2018

“Transplant is the last hope really. It’s a double edged sword, because you need it, but you know something horrible has to happen to someone else.

“The hardest thing I think was waiting for him to get poorlier. They can’t do the transplant until he reaches a certain point.”

In August, James and his family celebrated ten years since his liver transplant.

Now 12, he has just entered year eight at Silcoates School, where he plays cricket and lives an active lifestyle. He also carries an organ donation card.

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Rachel said: “You would never know really. He doesn’t really like to makes a fuss about it, he just gets on as normal. Even now sometimes I have to pinch myself when I look at him.

“It’s always going to be ongoing, there’s no guarantee. It’s just kind of a day at a time.

“He wouldn’t be here now without his donor and donor family.”

Organ Donation Week encourages people to discuss their thoughts on organ donation with their family, and, if they so wish, to sign up to the organ donor register.

The week runs from Monday, September 3 to Sunday, September 9, 2018.

For more information about organ donation, visit the NHS Organ Donation website.