Have you ever stopped to think about how many conversations you have had in the last year?
In 2013, designer Nicholas Feltron decided to find out the answer to exactly this question and the results are staggering. For an entire year, he painstakingly logged every single conversation that he had with another human being. He included face-to-face conversations, telephone calls, text messages, letters, emails and Facebook messages, the results of which can now be viewed in the 2013 Feltron Report. The result? Over the course of a year, Nicholas had an incredible 95,000 conversations.
These days, it is easier than ever to communicate with those around us. As well as the face-to-face conversations we’ve always had, technology has now broken down the barriers of distance and time, allowing us to have conversations with anyone, anywhere in the world and at any time of day or night.
Yet despite those 95,000 conversations we are each having a year, half of us never talked to our loved ones about being an organ donor after we die. Why does that matter? Because it would be their consent that would be needed if organ donation were an option. Last year, 90% of families who knew their loved one’s wish to donate gave consent. But where families were unaware of their relative’s wish, 42% refused consent. And with the numbers of people donating organs falling and the numbers of people needing life-saving transplants is rising, that’s a really big problem to resolve.
This week is National Transplant Week in the UK and people all over the UK are being asked to get behind it’s key message of “7 DAYS TO SAY YES I DONATE”. It’s about asking people to have one simple conversation with their loved ones to ensure their wish to save lives through organ donation is known. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it doesn’t matter how you have that conversation, it just matters that it happens. By doing this, we can all do something positive to change the fact that 3 people die each day in the UK due to the desperate shortage of organs for transplant. Each donor can save or transform the lives of up to 8 people through organ donation and countless more through tissue donation. But if we don’t have that conversation with our loved ones, we may never get that option.
According to Nicholas Felton’s report, each of us is likely to have over 1,800 conversations this week. Please make just one of those one in which you let your loved ones know your wish to be an organ donor in the future.