The First Minister Carwyn Jones has taken time after his busy schedule today (Wed 19th Dec) to visit the Kidney Wales Children’s Centre at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff to meet young dialysis patients and their families.
Whilst at the centre he met the families with children who are all awaiting kidney transplants and the staff that care for them. The Kidney Wales Children’s Centre offers specialist inpatient care to children with kidney disease and renal failure and gives support to the families effected.
The First Minister spent time handed out Christmas gifts to the children and chatted with their families and the staff before being given a tour of the unit.
The Welsh Government has launched the Heart to Heart campaign urging people to have vital discussions with their relatives and those closest to them about whether they would choose to donate their organs or not. Currently one person, on average, in Wales dies whilst waiting for an organ transplant.
The First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “It was a privilege to see for myself the excellent care being provided by the dedicated staff at the Centre. They work tirelessly not only to ensure that children receive the best medical care, but that they and their families are emotionally supported during what is often a very difficult and emotional time.
“Thanks to the generosity of the people of Wales and the hard work of NHS staff we have already seen an increase of 49 per cent in organ donation rates over the last four years, which I am very proud of. However, more can still be done to save and dramatically improve the lives of people in need of an organ transplant. That is why the Welsh Government is committed to introducing a soft opt-out system to increase the number of organ donors. “Families will still, of course, be critical in informing the final decision on what happens to their relative’s organs, and that’s why I urge people to have a heart to heart with their family and friends about their organ donation wishes.”
Raj Aggarwal, Chair of Trustees at Kidney Wales said “Families are effected deeply when waiting for a transplant and the First Minister understands the hope needed especially at this time of year. Our £100,000 refurbishment of the CKC has enhanced the patients and their families comfort and experience whilst undergoing difficult treatment.
Roy J. Thomas Executive Chairman of Kidney Wales said “In view of the Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill going through at present, the First Minister met children who have been saved by a transplant and those sadly waiting. As a Father he can understand the cruelty of a child waiting on the organ donor list.”
For more information on the work of Kidney Wales Foundation please call the office on 029 2034 3940
For more Kidney Wales news visit: www.kidneywales.com
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