James had been waiting for seven years for a kidney transplant, and had started to lose hope in ever finding a match. However, he held on to his faith in God healing him. In March 2018, during the Easter season, James received that ever-important call.
James enthuses: “To get the call just made me feel on top of the world. I thought to myself, God has finally answered my prayers.”
As a kidney patient on the donor transplant list, there is one phone call every patient wants to receive – the call from the hospital saying: “We might have a compatible donor kidney for you. Can you get here as soon as possible?” That call is simply life-changing. Easter 2018 was that life-changing moment for James.
James received the gift of hope from a very special person. He received something very precious that Easter: a donated kidney that transformed his life.
“I feel the stranger who donated their kidney to me must have been an angel sent by God. He (or she) must have a large heart full of human kindness. I am eternally grateful to this person.”
Right now, around 600 Black people across the UK are waiting for an organ transplant. The vast majority are waiting for a kidney transplant and for many the best match will come from someone with the same ethnic background. However, the shortage of donors from the Black community means that some patients will die waiting.
Bishop Dexter Edmund, Head of Bethel Churches UK, said: “We serve a Saviour who gave His life for the world, and so our very relationship with Jesus is based upon giving. He died so that we could live. By donating our organs, we also have a great opportunity to give the gift of life. I encourage you to do so.”
James said: “Joining the NHS Organ Donor Register is so important; you are not only helping the recipient and saving their life, but you are also making a difference to their family. My family and I pray for my donor every day.”
This Easter, James is especially keen to encourage more people from Black African and Caribbean communities to consider organ donation, and to sign up as donors on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Easter is a time for sharing love and giving – just like Jesus did.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
From spring 2020, the law around organ donation in England is changing, to help more people pass on more organs to save and improve more lives like James’s. Unless you’ve recorded a decision not to donate, or are in one of the excluded groups, it will be considered that you have agreed to be an organ donor when you die.
You still have a choice whether you want to be an organ donor or not when you die, and families will still be involved before organ donation goes ahead.
So, this Easter, take the time to make your decision about organ donation. Record it on the NHS Organ Donor Register, and share the decision with your family. One day you could give a fantastic gift.