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BBC documentary inspires viewers to sign up to be organ donors

Scores of people raced to join the organ donor register after watching a ‘heart-breaking’ episode of Hospital last night. 

On Twitter viewers said they were struggling to get onto an overloaded NHS Blood and Transplant website during the BBC Two documentary. 

The series’s penultimate episode told the stories of patients due to have transplant surgery and of a mother who wanted to donate tissue from her terminally ill baby.

People watching the programme said they had ‘tears in their eyes’ and were immediately moved to sign up to be donors themselves.

Lauren, 27, wanted to donate tissues from one of her twins who would die shortly after he was born because of a development problem, but in the end it wasn’t possible

Last night’s episode, the fifth in the series, followed doctors and patients at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

It followed Pamela, Collette and Michael, and Lauren and Gary, who were all waiting to have transplant surgery of some kind.

Pamela, in her mid-fifties, was given just 24 hours to prepare for a kidney transplant she had been waiting for for six months because her own only had five per cent of their original function.

Collette, 33, donated a kidney to her 36-year-old brother whose own had stopped working.

And Lauren, 27, was pregnant with twins wanted to donate tissues from one of the babies – Albi – who had a genetic disease meaning he would die shortly after birth.

As the programme highlighted the small number of organs available to a lot of waiting donors, people on Twitter said they were moved to try and make a difference.

The credits revealed that, while 80 per cent of adults in the UK support organ donation, only 38 per cent of them have signed up to the register.

But scores of Hospital viewers did their part last night and got #organdonation trending on Twitter.

Dave Doran tweeted: ‘While watching #Hospital this evening, even I had a tear in my eye for the baby that only lived for 2.5 hours. I am now registered as an organ donor.’

User Sian said: ‘After watching #Hospital tonight I felt I had to sign up straight away’.

Collette, 33, donated a kidney to her brother Michael who was suffering from end-stage kidney failure and had to spend four hours on dialysis four times a week

Collette, 33, donated a kidney to her brother Michael who was suffering from end-stage kidney failure and had to spend four hours on dialysis four times a week

Dave Doran tweeted: 'While watching #Hospital this evening, even I had a tear in my eye for the baby that only lived for 2.5 hours. I am now registered as an organ donor'

Dave Doran tweeted: ‘While watching #Hospital this evening, even I had a tear in my eye for the baby that only lived for 2.5 hours. I am now registered as an organ donor’

User Sian said: 'After watching #Hospital tonight I felt I had to sign up straight away'

User Sian said: ‘After watching #Hospital tonight I felt I had to sign up straight away’

Ian Fearnley said: 'Let's share and get the ball rolling ... I've signed up to be an organ donor'

Ian Fearnley said: ‘Let’s share and get the ball rolling … I’ve signed up to be an organ donor’

Andrew Harwood added: 'After watching tonight's #Hospital I've been inspired to sign up'

Andrew Harwood added: ‘After watching tonight’s #Hospital I’ve been inspired to sign up’

Michael Tomlinson said: 'Heartbreaking watching #Hospital tonight. Had a positive effect,' alongside a photo confirming he had signed up

Michael Tomlinson said: ‘Heartbreaking watching #Hospital tonight. Had a positive effect,’ alongside a photo confirming he had signed up

Ian Fearnley said: ‘Let’s share and get the ball rolling … I’ve signed up to be an organ donor’. 

Andrew Harwood added: ‘After watching tonight’s #Hospital I’ve been inspired to sign up.’

Michael Tomlinson said: ‘Heartbreaking watching #Hospital tonight. Had a positive effect,’ alongside a photo confirming he had signed up.

There were even reports of people struggling to get onto the NHS Blood and Transplant website, with some claiming it had ‘crashed’.

Karen Cousins tweeted: ‘I can’t get on to the organ donation site to sign up – that’s a great sign!’ 

Julie Bartlett said: ‘#Organdonation is trending thanks to #Hospital & apparently the @NHSOrganDonor website has crashed!’ 

Michael, 38, had a successful kidney transplant from his sister, Collette, on the programme, after relying on dialysis (pictured) to keep him alive during kidney failure

Michael, 38, had a successful kidney transplant from his sister, Collette, on the programme, after relying on dialysis (pictured) to keep him alive during kidney failure

Julie Bartlett said: '#Organdonation is trending thanks to #Hospital & apparently the @NHSOrganDonor website has crashed!'

Julie Bartlett said: ‘#Organdonation is trending thanks to #Hospital & apparently the @NHSOrganDonor website has crashed!’

Karen Cousins tweeted: 'I can't get on to the organ donation site to sign up – that's a great sign!'

Karen Cousins tweeted: ‘I can’t get on to the organ donation site to sign up – that’s a great sign!’

Another account run by Ms Bartlett to raise awareness of organ donation, Waiting for the Call, added: 'Heaps of love to all those that were moved by last nights #Hospital to not only get #OrganDonation trending but to crash the @NHSOrganDonor website'

Another account run by Ms Bartlett to raise awareness of organ donation, Waiting for the Call, added: ‘Heaps of love to all those that were moved by last nights #Hospital to not only get #OrganDonation trending but to crash the @NHSOrganDonor website’

ENGLAND WITHIN ARM’S REACH OF OPT-OUT ORGAN DONATION 

An opt-out system for organ donation will soon become law in England after it passed its final hurdle in Parliament.

Adults will be presumed to be organ donors unless they have explicitly asked not to have them taken after they die. Experts say the move could save 700 lives a year.

The House of Lords this month gave its approval to the law, which is now in its final Parliamentary stages after it cleared the Commons last year.

In 2017, some 411 Britons died before the right donor could be found and more than 5,000 are currently on the waiting list in England alone. 

Wales introduced an opt-out system in 2015, while the Scottish government has also tabled legislation on the issue.

The new legislation is set to be called Max and Keira’s Law, after heart transplant patient Max Johnson, 11, and his donor Keira Ball, who saved his life after dying in a car crash aged nine in 2017. 

Tory frontbencher Baroness Manzoor told peers: ‘Even if one life is saved as a result of this change in culture… then it must be surely worth it.’ 

Sign up to be an organ donor here.

Another account run by Ms Bartlett to raise awareness of organ donation, Waiting for the Call, added: ‘Heaps of love to all those that were moved by last nights #Hospital to not only get #OrganDonation trending but to crash the @NHSOrganDonor website.’

A spokesperson for NHS Blood and Transplant this morning denied the website had gone down overnight. 

As well as being moved to become organ donors, people on Twitter voiced their sympathy for Lauren, whose son, Albi, died just hours after being born.

Amanda Nadin said: ‘#Hospital heartbreaking tonight. Knowing for most of your pregnancy that one twin will die shortly after birth must be unbearable. 

‘Wanting to donate their baby’s organs to help others, such an amazing gift to offer even if in the end it wasn’t to be’. 

And Jo added: ‘Wow, how heartbreaking. Lauren you are so brave and so unbelievably selfless. My heart goes out to you and your family.’ 

Sign up to be an organ donor on the NHS website

Amanda Nadin tweeted: '#Hospital heartbreaking tonight. Knowing for most of your pregnancy that one twin will die shortly after birth must be unbearable.

Amanda Nadin tweeted: ‘#Hospital heartbreaking tonight. Knowing for most of your pregnancy that one twin will die shortly after birth must be unbearable.

Jo added: 'Wow, how heartbreaking. Lauren you are so brave and so unbelievably selfless. My heart goes out to you and your family'

Jo added: ‘Wow, how heartbreaking. Lauren you are so brave and so unbelievably selfless. My heart goes out to you and your family’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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