An Edinburgh man facing a wait for a life-saving transplant has backed the drive to increase the number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Scott Ramsay, 54, from Stockbridge, has been on the waiting list for a new organ since his kidney function rapidly deteriorated last March.
The father-of-two, born with polycystic kidney disease, ended up being hospitalised and told that dialysis and an eventual transplant would be needed to keep him alive.
Whilst things have stabilised on dialysis, Scott isn’t responding as well as doctor’s had hoped, with the treatment impacting on his quality of life.
Scott has backed the We Need Everybody campaign which aims to highlight that anyone can be an organ donor, regardless of age, shape size or ethnicity. The call for people to join the Organ Donor Register has been issued as latest figures reveal that every day in the UK, someone dies waiting on an organ transplant.
There are 540 people in Scotland waiting on a life-saving transplant who can spend years on the waiting list, enduring debilitating breathlessness, lethargy, and long periods of dialysis and hospitalisation. Currently, 43 per cent of the population in Scotland is on the NHS Organ Donor Register – but the more people that join, the more lives that can be saved.
Scott, who worked in market research, said: “I lived most of my life without any problems until my kidney function fell off a cliff last year. I’m not doing particularly well on dialysis – doctors have indicated the quality is low for the amount of time I’m dialysing. As a result, my quality of life has been seriously impaired.
“I’ve had to give up work, I have little energy and my cognitive abilities have been reduced. I can’t watch TV for more than 15 minutes, lose my train of thought easily and everyday things like reading a book are a struggle.
“The shot at a transplant really is like a golden ticket.
“It would be transformational and completely restart my life because at the moment I don’t have one.
“It would be nice to be able to walk uphill, go for a swim, do a crossword. The basic things I took for granted before I got ill.”
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said: “If you’ve made the decision that you want to donate your organs and haven’t yet joined the register, I’d urge you to do it now.
“It only takes two minutes and could be the most important thing you do today.”
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, log on to weneedeverybody.org