NHS transplant campaign fronted by Worcester girl, age 10

All Arabella Oliver is hoping for is to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation and the children in need of life-changing gifts.

The ten-year-old will one day need the transplant to help maintain her sight. Her mum Claire has also had a cornea transplant as a result of the same genetic condition.

She is one of a group of children in need of transplants represented by handmade dolls that will be placed across the country.

Each doll will wear a badge inviting people passing by to scan a QR code and hear stories of children in need of transplants.

Worcester News: AWARENESS: Arabella Oliver, from Worcester, is part of a new campaign to highlight children Waiting to LiveAWARENESS: Arabella Oliver, from Worcester, is part of a new campaign to highlight children Waiting to Live (Image: NHS Blood and Transplant)

Arabella’s doll is being hosted at NHS Blood and Transplant’s centre in Speke, Liverpool.

Her mum said  “Arabella is ambitious, enthusiastic and full of fun every single day, from the moment she wakes up to the time she falls asleep to dream about football.

“As of last year we discovered that Arabella has inherited a cornea dystrophy called Avellino Dystrophy from me after a routine eye examination.

“As positive as we are as a family, this pulled at my heart knowing that one day in the future my little girl will need a cornea graft, due to the dystrophy being progressive over time.

“No parent wants their child to experience the emotions and frustrations that they have endured themselves. 

Worcester News: DOLL: Arabella Oliver's story is available for people to hear through a QR code on this dollDOLL: Arabella Oliver’s story is available for people to hear through a QR code on this doll (Image: NHS Blood and Transplant)

“When I asked Arabella why she would like to take part and help in raising awareness, her answer was ‘Well, people need to know about it because if they need a cornea, or organ, and their children need one then they need to be able to get one. It’s really important that people know about it’.”

There is no national waiting list for cornea transplants but it is believed more than 6,000 people, including children, are waiting for a cornea transplant. 

The new campaign, Waiting to Live, aims to encourage parents and families to consider organ and tissue donation and, it is hoped, register themselves and their children as donors.

To add yourself to the NHS Organ Donor Register, search for the Waiting to Live campaign.

Reference

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