If you have an organ transplant in the UK, you are told only three pieces of information about your donor:
Their age, their gender, and how they died.
You have the opportunity, via the hospital, to send your donor's family an anonymous letter - the photo above is the card I made, it took me three weeks to write inside and they were the hardest words I have ever written. A year on, I wish I had said something so different.
I didn't hear back from my donor family, which I understand completely.
All transplant recipients also know a fourth detail about their donor without needing to be told. Our donors were thoughtful, good people. We know this because they were on the organ donor register. And we know the same thing about their families too, because in their time of grief, they consented.
Please take just two minutes to sign up to the organ donation register now, and have the conversation with your family so they know your wishes.
My donor was a female in her sixties, who died of a natural brain injury, such as a stroke or aneurysm.
I think about her a lot, I wonder what she was like, what her name was. And when I have a difficult decision to make, I always always think "what would my donor want?". This guides me to do more, to think of others more, to take more chances. Ultimately, just to live a little bit harder. She gave me a lot more than a liver.