Sidmouth man urges people to sign up to organ donor list

PUBLISHED: 15:39 05 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:36 18 June 2010

A SIDMOUTH man, whose life has been transformed by a kidney transplant, is urging people to sign up to the organ donor register. National Transplant Week begins today and Mel McColm is hoping by telling his story it will encourage people to add their name

A SIDMOUTH man, whose life has been transformed by a kidney transplant, is urging people to sign up to the organ donor register.

National Transplant Week begins today and Mel McColm is hoping by telling his story it will encourage people to add their names to the list.

Rhodesian Mr McColm, 64, of Winslade Road, was diagnosed with polycystic kidneys at the age of 47 and if he had not escaped his war-torn country he says he would have died, with no chance of a transplant.

But in 1996 Mr McColm and his wife, Ann, moved to Sidmouth and, although he was given a three in 10,000 chance of finding a kidney match, last year his dream became a reality.

He said: "It's like winning the lottery. One day your number comes up and your life changes. You are given another chance and it is overwhelming."

Mr McColm recently met the family of his kidney donor, 21-year-old Daniel, who was killed in a road accident.

And it was just in a passing conversation with his mother that Daniel said he wanted to be a donor.

"A lot of people think of signing up but never get round to doing it," Mr McColm added.

Only 16,286,656 people- 26 per cent of the population- are registered donors and in the last two months alone more than 3,500 organ transplants were carried out.

Mr McColm said: "Everybody should think very carefully and look inside all the generosity they have.

"One day maybe one of their family may need an organ or they may need one themselves-that is a really a big thing to consider."

Mr McColm will be meeting Daniel's extended family soon and they are also appealing for people to sign the organ donor register.

"They really get a lot of strength because it has done such a lot of good," he said.

"All of them are now on the register."

To sign up to the NHS organ donor register ring 0300 123 2323 which is open 24 hours a day.

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