Benefits Of Organ Donation.



Donor Pledge

As a fellow transplant recipient myself I cant emphasise enough the importance of donors, Having the transplant has made such a astounding difference to my life and I would advise anyone to take advantage of being able to give some one else the chance to live, without the dedication and willingness of my donor Samantha and her family I would not be here today….


Did You Know?

Over 3,000 Organ transplants take place in the U.K. alone each year.


 2,000 sight saving corneal transplants are also carried out each year.


What Can Be Transplanted?

There are a number of the body’s organs, which can be donated, to help save lives.

The Liver, Heart and Kidneys were seen at one time to be huge scientific breakthroughs, but now as the world of medical science advances the doctors are able to do a lot more….


Transplanted Organs







6.Bone Marrow


8.Small Bowel.



More Facts about Donation.

On average over 5,000 people in the U.K. are waiting for an organ transplant.


Many people each year die whilst waiting for an organ transplant….


You can Change That… Simply by obtaining a donor card and becoming a donor you can help cut waiting lists by expressing a willingness to donate Organs when a loved one dies….


Letting People Know Your Wishes.

Facing up to the death of a loved one is hard, especially when asked about donating organs.

 The best way to help ease the pain is to explain to your family you want to become a donor and pick up your donor card and register….


Make A Difference!


Donor Stories


Below are number of personal accounts from donor families, without these people's shear compassion I and many others would not be here today. If you would like to add your experiences please drop me an email along with a photo (If possible) and the account.


Joe’s Story 


     Joseph Edward Keller was born on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, on June 1, 1980. Our 'Little Joey" was the youngest of our four children.  It always seemed we had the 'perfect' family. A parent's perfect dreams were coming true. It was the summer of 1994 and Tom & Elizabeth, were out of school, and both were pursuing their careers.  Mike, an easy going junior in high school, and Joe, our 'baby' being just as easy going as his brother. Life was finally slowing down a little, only one baseball practice, instead of four!

     On August 18th, 1994, all of that changed. Joe and four of his friends from school were bored from being stuck in the house for almost a week. We had a tropical storm come thru the area, and it had rained for days on end. He and his schoolmates called each other the night before, and decided they would get together.  We live in the country, so they decided to go for a long bike ride, stop at their favorite swimming spot, and also do some bridge jumping.   When they were getting ready to come home, one of the girls that was with them decided to go back in swimming, when she did, she went in on the lower side of a low-head dam. The hydraulics of the dam pulled her under.   Joe attempted to save the life of his schoolmate. He was not as lucky as she was. A low-head dam has a mind of it's own, it decides how long to hold onto whatever it is that it has, and Joe was held under the water too long.

    One of the boys ran to the campground across the road to call for help, while the owners of the campground came out to try to help. The paramedics were on the scene shortly. The paramedic that worked on Joe was my cousin Mark. He tried so hard to save Joe's life that day, along with the other EMT's, I will be forever grateful to them for their help. On the way to the hospital, they were finally able to get a heartbeat on him again. It was touch and go for the next few hours until he was stable. My husband, Dave, was called at work and told about the accident, the HR person took him to the hospital to meet Joe. They were flying Joe, Life Lion from Hanover to York Hospital to be taken care of by the Trauma Unit.

    Most of us arrived at the hospital at the same time.  As we all gathered in this room, the doctor came in, and told us very bluntly that Joe was not going to make it. He said they had lost him at the creek, and several times after that, and he had no chance of making it. I remember sitting there, not knowing what to say. My son was an expert swimmer, how could that happen?  I asked if he was still alive and he replies yes, and I said, then there is still hope for him.

We spent those days sitting with Joe, reading to him, talking to him, or just quietly sitting by his side, and praying!  On another beautiful Sunday morning, we were told that our son, Joe, had died, that he was brain dead. I had a problem understanding exactly what that meant. We shared this with our extended family and friends who had become our support through all of this, who held a 24-hour vigil at the hospital with us. 

    The doctor, nurses, Tom & Rick, transplant coordinators, and the chaplain at the hospital (who happened to be the priest at our church when Joe was a baby, and had baptized him) met Dave and I at the hospital. They asked us how we felt about organ donation, and I immediately told them NO! My husband said yes. I told them it wasn't fair. He had risked his life to save someone else, and now they were asking for him to give even more!

      It just wasn't fair that such a good kid, with a good future ahead of him should loose his life. As we sat and talked about Joe, Tom the one coordinator said to me, you know you have told us about Joe, and he sounded like a great kid who had a heart of gold, wouldn't it be a shame to loose that, and not be able to share it with someone else? At that point, I could not agree with him more. After all if he had not had a heart of gold, we would not have been there, he was always trying to help someone out.

     When I finally agreed, I told them it had to be a family decision, that I needed for my kids to be there to agree on it, he was as much their brother, as much as our son. Finally we came to an agreement, as a family to donate Joe's heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and skin. We also donated his lungs that could not be transplanted, but were used for research.

     I personally had a problem with my decision, I knew I had done the right thing, but I was not convinced that I had done what Joe wanted me to do. After all, we had never talked about organ donation, and how could I know that I did what he wanted. I usually took a daily walk, and when I did, I always took the 'short block'.  As I got to the end of the road that day, I found myself turning right instead of the usual left. As I walked, I passed one of Joe's friend's homes. It was as if someone was playing an old movie for me. I saw them playing together, they were six or seven years old. Joe used to fuss over him like a little mother hen.  If he ate with us, Joe would check to make sure everything was 'good' for him or set the alarm clock so that he would not forget to take his medicine. At that moment I recalled this little boy had a liver transplant a few years before Joe had met him. I remembered my son telling me at a very young age, that he thought that was the most awesome thing that someone could do for someone else. It was as if the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders. I finally realized that I had done exactly what was right, and what Joe had wanted also!!! I knew then it was Joe, dragging me that way, and kicking me in the pants to tell me that I should not worry about it, I did what he wanted!

    We have come along way since August 21, 1994. Our family has talked about organ donation many times, and I now know exactly what each of my family members want.  We have all learned a great deal about organ and tissue donation since Joe's death, I just wish we had known just part of it before he died. We try hard to talk to as many people as possible about organ and tissue donation, because we would hope that there every family could make an educated decision on donation. Our favorite groups to talk to are the young kids; I talk to many school groups. Dave and I together with a recipient have talked to a countless amount of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts about organ donation and how important it is to talk to their families, and also help them to earn their Organ Donor Awareness Patch.       Has all of this made up for the loss of our son, and brother? No, but nothing can do that.  But it means that his life and death have had a lot more meaning. Even after his death he continues to touch the hearts of so many through his gift of life

In loving Memory of our son, Joseph E. Keller, 6/1/80—8/21/94   







Transplants United (C)2005