Organ Donation Week
A ‘digitally focused’ Organ Donation Week will be taking place from the 7th to the 13th of September 2020. Despite this year’s COVID-19 challenges, the organisers are encouraging fundraisers and those from the organ donation community to participate in raising awareness in their own amazing online ways. Community gatherings may not be possible this year, but participants can find other ways of spreading the message of organ donation, and of raising money for the cause.
Since 20th May 2020, all adults in England are now automatically considered to be potential organ donors, unless they’ve officially opted out, informed their family of a desire to opt out, or they belong to one of the excluded groups. This system is also called ‘Max and Keira’s Law’ and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) urges families to talk about their organ donation decisions, especially during Organ Donation Week.
I am writing this as the publisher of a book ‘Heaven Sent, Taylor Made’ – Judith Taylor’s story of her daughter, Penny who died 30 years ago.
Penny was a Cystic Fibrosis sufferer who underwent a heart and lung transplant at Papworth Hospital, in the years before her passing. Her parents promised Penny that they would publish her story, along with a selection of her wonderful artwork, poetry, thoughts and letters. Thirty years later, they have done this, and I am proud to have facilitated the production of this comprehensive and inspiring book.
Without the care of her parents and friends, the Cystic Fibrosis medical specialists, the support of The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and her heart and lung transplant, Penny’s life would have been considerably shorter, and considerably less creative and wonderful.
I hadn’t thought in any depth about organ donation and transplantation until I began working with Judith on ‘Heaven Sent’. But now, two years later, I realise just how crucial organ donation has been to the lives and wellbeing of so many people. I also realise the value of the extra time gained. Penny Taylor put her extra time to good use, and the contents of this book speak profoundly of a life well lived. Penny was a thoughtful, artistic and bright girl, and her words and pictures inspire.
If you’d like a copy of ‘Heaven Sent, Taylor Made’, it is available on Amazon, and from the Scott Martin Productions website (www.scottmartinproductions.com). It is a large, full-colour book, and all author royalties will be split between The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and New Start.
Thank you to all involved, from me, from Penny’s parents Judith and John, and from all whose lives have been impacted by organ donation.
Lesley Atherton, Publisher, Scott Martin Productions