Sutton transplant survivor appeals for more donors

A YOUNG Sutton woman whose life was saved by an organ transplant wants more people to sign up as donors.

Twenty-one-year-old Laura Barratt was just a toddler when she received her first donor kidney, and has spoken out in support of a drive to encourage people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.

“I would say to those thinking about signing up: I would not give it a second thought,” she said. “There are so many people out there waiting for a donation.”

Mum and dad Steve and Helen Barratt have spoken about the ‘beautiful gift’ given to their daughter Laura, who by aged two was gravely ill and needed dialysis.

Since then Laura has received three transplants - the last coming from dad Steve seven years ago.

“When your only child’s life is faced with such an uncertain future you constantly live in fear of what lies around the corner,” he said.

“Only a transplant at this young age was the light at the end of our traumatic tunnel.

“Fortunately Laura received her first transplant at the age of four, which enabled her to go to school and be like any other child - eating and drinking what she loved and also growing well and being ‘normal’.”

Helen said Laura had been given a beautiful gift which allowed her to lead a normal life.

“Laura is an absolute credit not only to us but to the brave families who through their loss have allowed her to grow into a kind, thoughtful, talented and beautiful young lady.”

The family are supporting National Transplant Week, which continues until Sunday.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is also backing the drive to encourage more people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.

Dr Paul Smith, the trust’s lead for organ donation, said transplants were a miracle of medicine which relied on the generosity of donors and their families.

“Every year the lives of thousands of people are saved or transformed through organ transplantation,” he said.

“By joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and discussing this with your family you can help increase this number.”

Sign up to the register by visiting King’s Mill Hospital during National Transplant Week or by calling the organ donor line on 0300 1232323.