I became jaundiced at the age of 15.
And over the years,
with different types of medication,
it just gradually
seemed to get worse.
There's different types of
but the one that I had is to do with
the breakdown of the actual liver.
Basically, it had gone to 40%
of the liver actually working.
And they thought, "We can't
for it to get any less than that."
So they thought,
"Well, it's gone far enough really."
"We'll put you on a transplant list."
At the present time in the UK
there are just under 8,000 people
awaiting an organ transplant.
we just do not have enough donors.
For kidney transplantation
you have kidney dialysis,
but life on dialysis
for the vast majority is miserable.
If you take liver transplantation,
nearly one in five people
listed and awaiting a transplant
before a liver become available.
I was, obviously,
in and out of hospital.
It wasn't really a nice time for me
because I felt really unwell.
People when they're waiting
for an organ transplant,
life almost is on hold.
It's more existing rather than
enjoying a high quality life.
We don't know when an organ will
become available for an individual.
And it's not only hard
for the person involved,
but it's also hard on the family.
just the chance to live on,
because beforehand I was thinking,
if the worst comes to the worst,
I'm going to leave behind
my daughter, my granddaughter,
and the rest of my family."
I just thank God every day
that something did come up for me.
On the waiting list at the moment
in the UK
approximately 1 in 12 is black.
Donor rates are inadequate.
And it's far better to have a liver,
kidney, heart, lung,
from an ethnically identical group.
The importance of the match
between the donor and the recipient
varies from organ to organ.
And so the closer the matching is
the better the organ is likely
to be tolerated by the recipient.
The ethnic minorities
do have an increased demand
for organ transplant.
There's a higher instance
of hypertension, diabetes,
a higher instance of renal failure,
there's often more viral hepatitis,
which may result in liver failure.
We do need many more donors
we need more black donors,
because black donations rates
are approximately half
what they are for other groups.
A lot of people out there
probably won't get
the same opportunity as I have done.
And I think if people are frightened
to be organ donors,
don't be, because you're helping
to have a new lease of life.
The major faiths
all support organ donation
and stress that it's a good thing to do.
People need to be made aware of the
that there are people out there waiting.
And, at the end of the day,
if they don't get a transplant
it could be fatal.
I think it's also helpful
for the individuals to think
if their kidneys
or liver or heart fails,
would they want an organ transplant?
And if so, where are those organs
going to come from?
And if they're not prepared
to donate, who's going to?
If you're prepared to take,
why are you not prepared to give?
And that's irrespective of ethnicity.