About 100 persons are on the list waiting for organs such as kidneys, corneas, heart and lungs. Organ donation after death is an altruistic gesture that costs nothing but transforms and improves the quality of life for patients and their families and often saves lives. Transplantation in Malta started approximately 30 years ago and during this period a good number of persons were given a second chance at life. This is thanks to organ transplants they received, and more so thanks to organ donors who deserve society’s thankfullness.
In this context and as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR), Nectar Ltd, importer and distributor of quality food and beverages across Malta and Gozo, encouraged its staff to register as organ donors. During the initial phase of an internal campaign, 75 Nectar employees registered as organ donors with the National Human Organ and Tissues Donation Register.
Nectar Ltd’s Head of Social and Welfare Committee Mr Keith Cassar said: “Transplantation of organs, tissues and cells has immense potential in saving and improving lives. One organ donor after his or her death can save up to eight lives. The same donor can also save or improve the lives of up to 50 individuals by donating tissues.With this in mind, we encouraged our employees to become organ donors and talk openly about organ donation within their respective families. At the end of the day, the effort will save lives. Most probably it is the single most important donation we will ever make.”
Also present was recipient Mrs Christine Grixti who recounted her experience. For over 20 years, Mrs Grixti lived her life with a heart disease – a life experiencing physical and mental pain, constraints, uncertainties, and the constant fear of dying. “Nonetheless, it was a life which taught me the true meaning of appreciating every breath, every day and night, support and love, suffering and,above all the love of God,” says Mrs Grixti.
Nowadays, Christine has a normal heartbeat and is living a miracle – the miracle of life, the miracle of being reborn. This was only possible thanks to a donor’s heart which is beating in her. That donor gave Christine a second chance to live and to continue taking care of her family.
Today, Christine is finding opportunities to share her experience, and to give courage to those who are going through a difficult moment in life. She is committed to raise more awareness about the need for organ donors to register and give a second chance of life to others.
According to the recently enacted legislation, persons who have attained the age of 16 may register their wish to donate their organs after death, or specify which organs they would like to donate. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Organ Donor Registration leaflets state that: “any person, even those who have a medical condition, are accepted to register as organ donors.” The more registered organ donors there are, the better.
For registrations or more information on organ donation, one can access the website: www.organdonation.gov.mt