Fans urged to join Organ Donor Register
Pompey are backing the Sign For Life campaign by NHS Blood and Transplant to boost the number of people joining the NHS Organ Donor Register – and one of the club’s own fans is helping spearhead the drive.
Andrew Prismall from Southsea received a new liver after contracting a hereditary blood disease and was back in his South Stand seat for the first time in 14 months for the recent Oxford game.
He said: “It was a very special day for me. I have not been able to go to any games pre-transplant due to illness and post-transplant due to recovery needs and risk of infection due to medication.
“I had a very broad smile on my face as I watched all those familiar things you take for granted. I clapped like mad for the kids parading the pitch and even Touchline Tony's appearance was a joy! It was the small things I realised I had missed so much.
“I have been a Pompey fan since my dad took me to see them play in 1976. Last September I had a liver transplant as mine was damaged. When I saw this campaign I couldn't believe it! Two things I am so passionate about, football and organ donation.
“I am so happy to be supporting this campaign and I hope it helps others to get a life-saving transplant like me. I waited eight months for mine, but I am one of the lucky ones. I’d like to thank the club for supporting this amazing campaign.”
Pompey boss Andy Awford and midfielder Danny Hollands recently met Andrew and give their own backing.
Andy said: “This is an important campaign and as a community club we are pleased to be able to do our bit and hopefully drive up registrations.
“Andrew’s story shows what can be achieved – an organ transplant is simply life-changing and it’s great to see him back at Fratton Park.”
There are currently around 7,000 people waiting for a transplant across the UK. That’s equivalent to more than 630 football teams.
The fact is there are simply not enough organs available for patients that need them. One organ donor can transform the lives of up to nine people. If more families agreed to donate their loved one’s organs, more lives could be saved.
Anthony Clarkson, assistant director for organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We are delighted that Portsmouth FC are supporting this campaign to encourage their fans to join the Organ Donor Register, showing that they want to save and improve the lives of others.
“If we are to reduce the number of people who die waiting for a transplant, we need more families to agree to organ donation.
“Football is our national sport and if Pompey fans can be inspired by their passion for the game to support organ donation, they would offer hope to all those waiting for a transplant.”
Fans can join the NHS Organ Donor Register by visiting www.organdonation.nhs.uk or calling 0300 123 23 23 and telling their families their decision.
You can also join the conversation online by using the campaign hash tag #organdonor and can follow @NHSOrganDonor on Twitter.