‘Ronnie McIntosh factor’ could explain Dundee organ donor rise

Cecilia McIntosh, widow of Ronnie McIntosh, says the rise in donor numbers is fantastic.
Cecilia McIntosh, widow of Ronnie McIntosh, says the rise in donor numbers is fantastic.

The death of celebrated kidney transplant patient Ronnie McIntosh seems to have encouraged more Dundee people to sign the organ donor register.

Donor registrations from people with Dundee addresses soared in the days after the 62-year-old Olympic torch carrier’s funeral at the crematorium.

Humanist celebrant Dominic Watson told the packed gathering of mourners the greatest tribute they could pay to Ronnie would be for them to register as organ donors.

Figures provided to The Courier by the NHS Blood and Transplant unit suggests they have answered that call.

In the three weeks before Ronnie’s funeral on January 10, the numbers of new registrations from the DD1 to DD5 postcode area were 10, eight and five.

In the week of Ronnie’s funeral and in each the two weeks afterwards 19 people registered a total of 57 across the three weeks.

The Ronnie McIntosh factor has been recognised by his widow Cecilia and by officials in the NHS nationally and locally.

Mrs McIntosh said last night: “This is fantastic news.

“Ronnie was such a strong supporter of organ donation it gave him the chance of life. He encouraged people to become organ donors and supported organ donor events whenever he could.

“The message at his funeral seems to have reached many people.

“I’ve heard so many stories about people especially young people deciding to become organ donors because of Ronnie, and it’s great to know that according to these figures this seems to be happening.

“I’m really proud that so many people have done this because, it would seem, because of Ronnie.”

Lesley Logan, regional manager of the organ donation service for Scotland and the Northern area for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It is heart-warming to know that the gift of organ donation meant that Ronnie McIntosh could go on to accomplish so much in his life.

“His journey will continue to be an inspiration to all those currently waiting for life-saving transplants. It is perhaps just as incredible to know that even after his death, he is still motivating people to discuss organ donation with their loved ones.

“With three people dying every day waiting for an organ, every single person signing up to the NHS organ donor register has the potential to make a huge difference.”

Tayside has the second highest rate of organ donors north of the border with 43.5% of the population signing the organ donor register, a rate bettered only by Lothian (47.8%) the Scottish average is 40.4%.

For more on this story see Thursday’s Courier or try our digital edition.


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