A doctor at Kettering General Hospital who has had a heart transplant is promoting greater awareness of organ donation during national Organ Donation Week.
Dr Snehasish Guha is an anaesthetic registrar and has worked at KGH since August 2016.
He was fit and healthy until May 2006 when he was diagnosed with a dilated cardiomyopathy following a viral infection.
He was subsequently looked after at the Papworth Hospital on medical management until December 2010 when his condition deteriorated and he was put on the transplant waiting list.
He underwent a heart transplant in May 2012 at Papworth Hospital after waiting on the National Organ Donor Register for 17 months.
The transplant involved a five-hour operation and he was in hospital for 13 days.
He now only needs to have regular yearly checks with the transplant team and takes medication to prevent his body rejecting the donor heart.
Dr Guha said: “I feel extremely fortunate to have received a donor heart from someone who did not need it anymore and the organ has already given me five great years full of optimism and the opportunity to continue in the medical profession and care for patients and their families in times of ill health.
“The transplant has given me a tremendous quality of life and the chance to once again be a productive member of society and I have every confidence that I can continue for many years to come.
“I would like to take this opportunity to stimulate individuals to think about this very important topic in health as it is a very personal decision and best taken when you are in good health and have the necessary knowledge, time and support to make a decision.
“It is important to realise that in spite of all the advances of modern medicine there is nothing better than a fully functional organ when one does not need it anymore.
Dr Guha recently underwent a five year coronary angiography test which does not show any signs that his body is rejecting the donor heart.
Research shows 90 per cent of people would accept an organ if they needed it but only 27 per cent of people sign up to the National Organ Donor Register, with Organ Donation Week taking place from September 4-10.
Dr Guha said: “I would urge everyone to think about it and if you do decide it’s for you to sign on to the national register and make this important gesture that can save and transform people’s lives, as it did for me.”
KGH’s lead clinician for organ donation Jan Szafranski said: “If everyone signed up to the national register the prospects for the 10,000 people nationally who currently need transplants – about 150 of whom are in Northamptonshire - would be much improved.
“The only way that enough organ donations can be made each year is if a larger proportion of the population sign up to the national register.
“It is also very important to discuss your decision with your close family so that they are aware of your wishes.
“In the unlikely event of your untimely death your donation could save, or transform, the lives of up to nine other people.”
Dr Guha says he would be happy to talk to or meet with anyone who would like to know more about organ donation or his story.
To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kettering General Hospital organ donation committee is looking for members of the public to join it.
The committee helps support NHS Blood and Transplant in its work through awareness raising and fundraising.
It involves attending a meeting for one hour every three months.
The next meeting is on October 3.
For more information contact email@example.com.