The family of a man who donated his organs after death are calling for more people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Their plea comes during Organ Donation Week, which runs until 10 September. People from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are more likely to need an organ transplant than the rest of the population, but will often wait longer for a transplant due to the lack of suitable organs.
Shila Rabadia, from Neasden, adored her fun-loving, kind father, Naran Rabadia. The 39-year-old said: “He was a real joker, and so generous, always making sure his family and friends were helped.”
But Shila and her family were shocked when Naran suffered a stroke, and sadly died at the age of 63 in May 2017. Shila said: “He had other medical conditions and was diabetic, but it was so sudden that we certainly weren’t expecting it.
“Shortly after his death, we were approached by the organ donation team at Northwick Park Hospital, and were sensitively asked if we’d consider donating dad’s organs. We didn’t hesitate and said yes straight away, but as it turns out, he had already signed up to be a donor and was on the donor register. It was just like him to do something like that.
“Not only did he give when he was alive, he also wanted to give when he died.”
Shila and her family received a letter shortly after advising them that Naran’s kidneys and liver had been donated to two people.
“We’re so proud of dad and as a family we would encourage everyone to join the NHS Organ Donor Register, especially those from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The best thing you can do is save someone’s life – it’s the ultimate gift”, said Shila.
Last year, 1,403 people donated organs in the UK. At London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, 11 people donated their organs, changing the lives of 20 people.
Bobbee Cotter, Specialist Nurse - Organ Donation, said: “Successful transplants can be carried out between people from different ethnic groups, but patients from the same ethnic group are more likely to be a close match.
“To ensure all patients have the opportunity of a successful transplant it is important that people from all ethnic backgrounds sign up to the register and talk to their families about their decision.”
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register or to find out more about organ donation, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk