Peterhead lung transplant recipient backs organ and tissue opt out awareness campaign
A Peterhead woman who received a life-changing double lung transplant is urging people to make their organ and tissue donation decision known ahead of the law change to an opt-out system from this Friday (26 March).
Paula Massie (40) was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2009, and received her transplant in May 2019.
Although the road to recovery has been long, Paula has spoken about how she is now able to appreciate the simple things in life, with the transplant allowing her to take a deep breath for the first time in ten years.
Paula backed the awareness campaign underway to ensure people understand what the law change means for them – and encouraged people to make their donation decision known.
Paula said: “The recovery process has been tough, I was in hospital for three months, but every day I’ve seen an improvement from my condition before the transplant.
“After going through something like this, you really appreciate the simple things in life like just being around and able to spend time with your family. I’ve also been able to walk again for pleasure, which has been amazing.
“I wrote to my donor’s family to say thank you, but it’s never enough. They’ve changed my life, it’s such a huge gift. I wake up every day glad that someone has given me this gift of life, and there’s no way I can ever repay them."
The opt out law means that if people aged 16 and over haven’t recorded a decision about donation, they will be considered a possible donor if they die in circumstances in which they could donate.
People have a choice – to be a donor, or to opt out of donation – and people can record their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register at any time. And sharing that decision with family is important .
Paula said: “Organ and tissue donation is still something people find really difficult to talk about, and I hope the law change encourages people to talk about their decision with their family.
"If your family aren’t sure of your wishes, it might make a difficult time even harder. I really hope that the law change will encourage people to have that conversation.”
For more about the law change, and to record your donation decision, visit organdonationscotland.org or call 0300 303 2094.