Call by father to scrap donor law

10:47 22 November 2012

Ten year old Harry Wright has launched a fundraising campaign to help his mum, Sarah, who is urgently in need of a lung transplant. Harry is pictured with his mum, his grandad (Steve Gazzard), and siblings Billy and Marnie. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8677-31-12AW

Ten year old Harry Wright has launched a fundraising campaign to help his mum, Sarah, who is urgently in need of a lung transplant. Harry is pictured with his mum, his grandad (Steve Gazzard), and siblings Billy and Marnie. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exe 8677-31-12AW

Archant

A Withycombe father campaigning to change the law on organ donations following his daughter’s death says he is “disappointed” that the prime minister has not respond to his plea.

Steve Gazzard, the Liberal Democrat leader on the town council, wrote to David Cameron, East Devon MP Hugo Swire, health secretary Jeremy Hunt and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg urging a debate in the House of Commons.

Britain, which has the lowest rate of organ donation in western Europe, currently has a system whereby donors “opt in”. Mr Gazzard wants that changed so that people instead have to “opt out”.

It follows the death of his daughter Sarah Wright two weeks ago following a two-year battle with advanced lung disease.

Sarah, a 36-year-old mother of three, was being treated at a specialist unit at Harefield Hospital when two lungs became available – but they didn’t match her blood type.

Her father, himself a retired paramedic, believes a change would save lives and lead to fewer organs being “thrown away”. He said: “This is a straightforward change, and it is far easier for everybody. I have not spoken to one person who hasn’t said that the system should be changed.”

Mr Gazzard wrote to Mr Swire who in turn wrote to Mr Hunt. But while Mr Hunt expressed his condolences, he did not respond to Mr Gazzard’s call for a Commons vote.Mr Clegg replied with a three-line note written by an aide.

Mr Cameron did not respond.

Mr Gazzard said: “I’m really disappointed in Mr Cameron. He portrays himself as a family man, so I wrote the letter from one father to another, but to date I have had no reply.”

He added: “This week I wrote to [Exeter MP and former health minister] Ben Bradshaw. I’m really impressed with Ben and I have written to [shadow health secretary] Andy Burnham. I hope that between them they will get this issue raised in the Commons.”

To force a debate in the House of Commons 100,000 people need to sign the online petition at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38220 by September 2013.

1 comment

  • I'm absolutely behind you. I'm sure you will get your response, it's certainy deserved. Petition signed.

    Report this comment

    asiveyer

    Thursday, November 22, 2012

Other News Stories

THE indefatigable Maureen Lipman has, inbetween her many acting roles, found the time to write 10 autobiographical books, including It’s a Jungle out There, published last year.

Read more
12:44

New Barnstaple centre would see rubbish collected, bulked up and then taken elsewhere

Read more
12:30

Birthday celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the Exmouth branch of The Royal British Legion were held alongside the club’s annual general meeting.

Read more
12:25

Work has started on the 13th century pub at Parkham after it was gutted by fire

Read more
12:11

Sidmouth Veterinary Practice is hoping third time’s a charm as it look to get its hands on an ‘Oscar of the trade’.

Read more

Torrington-based business Dartington Crystal was exhibiting at an international trade show when actress Elizabeth Hurley paid them a visit.

Read more

Cancer patients in North Devon have had nothing but positive feedback for counsellor helping them with emotional effects of cancer.

Read more
10:00

An account manager who grew up in Exmouth is to run her first marathon in memory of her mum.

Read more
09:13

Adams Apples, of Payhembury, provide the trees for a grassland site in Wilmington

Read more

A Westward Ho! woman who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia last year has started a support group for people in North Devon.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Find a job in Devon



Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications