MP for Warley John Spellar has joined heart charity Children’s Heart Federation in its call to raise awareness of the need for more heart donors for children. Opinion polls in the UK show the vast majority of population is in favour of organ donation but evidence shows low levels of awareness and the need for transplants. Across the UK there are 6,893 people waiting for transplants.
The need for heart donors is being highlighted by the Children’s Heart Federation as the consent rate for organ donation remains the static while children with congenital heart conditions is growing each year due to the tremendous developments in surgical treatment and care . However, many of these children will need a heart transplant in the future.
Nick and Clare Bingham from Chesterfield, Derbyshire were told the devastating news that their five year old daughter Freya needed a heart transplant. Nick says “Our world turned upside down. It was a living nightmare. We arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night and Freya was put on a Berlin Heart Machine for 63 agonising days. Thankfully we received a heart but without the donor Freya would not be alive today. All our family are on the register now.”
John Spellar MP has committed to working with the Children’s Heart Federation to raise awareness of the increased need for heart donors in Sandwell and across the UK. John Spellar MP has also signed a pledge to support the setting up of an All Parliamentary Group on the issue.
John Spellar MP said:-
“I’m supporting the Children’s Heart Federation in their call for all political parties, including my own, to commit to raising awareness of the need for heart donors for children. We’ve come a long way with medical advancements for these children over the years - we now need to look to their future.”
Anne Keatley Clarke, Chief Executive of Children’s Heart Federation, said:
“Being told that your child needs a heart transplant is devastating. The Children’s Heart Federation wants to give heart children the best chance of life. The charity is committed to working closely with government, industry and stakeholders to raise awareness of the need for an increase in the consent rate for heart donors.”
About Children’s Heart Federation
• The Children’s Heart Federation (CHF) is the UK’s leading children’s heart charity and an umbrella organisation for 21 member groups who support heart children and their families.
• CHF supports families through its information service, small grant programmes, peer support events and provision of equipment.
• The charity also lobbies for changes to the health, social care and education systems for the benefit of heart families.