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

7 minutes ago
The submerged car in Appledore. Picture: Andy Willterton.

Coastguard and a local tractor driver attempted to rescue the vehicle yesterday (Thursday) which is still stuck in the sand.

Read more
53 minutes ago
Caravans moved onto Barnstaple's Rock Park earlier  this evening (Wednesday).

Enforcement officers called off as encampment vacates Rock Park.

Read more
Fran Rose with her daughter Lucy in her previous electric wheelchair

A housebound Topsham woman, whose electric wheelchair broke down, is looking for a replacement to allow her to get out and about again.

Read more
Unveiling the Conservative six point plan for the South West.

The Chancellor is paying a visit to Appledore Shipyard this morning (Friday) to announce, among other things, improvements to A361 Link Road.

Read more
09:31

The new co-ordinators of the Budleigh Salterton Voluntary Car Service are making an appeal for more drivers to come forward.

Read more
The Hobby Horse

From agriculture shows and food fairs to railway shows and picnics - there is loads to do in North Devon this bank holiday weekend.

Read more
Councillor Maddie Chapman was elected as the new Mayor of Exmouth at the annual meeting of the Exmouth Town Council on Monday evening and is pictured with Town Crier Roger Bourgein. Ref exe 7022-21-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Brixington’s Maddie Chapman has been elected as Exmouth’s mayor, taking over the mantle from Bill Nash.

Read more
Russell Cheesman, who was found dead in Bideford on Sunday, October 26.

Russell Cheesman, 32, was found dead near Bideford skate park having taken a number of drugs and drinking alcohol.

Read more
Dan Lavery of the Devon Freewheelers. Ref exe 1256-13-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Devon Freewheelers founder Daniel Lavery will do whatever it takes to keep his lifeline service on the road so other families can receive the same help and care that saved his wife’s life.

Read more
Tanya Trevena with girl guides from Honiton and Sidmouth at the weekend collecting for her sailing challenge.

Guides from Sidmouth and Honiton did their best to help one of their own - as she prepares for a five-day sailing challenge.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life
Family Notices 24


Devon's trusted business finder