Rachael urges staff to sign up to the organ donor register

Rachael Hogg is a Business Support Manager for the Mental Health Care Group and is without doubt one of our amazing people.  Based at Westmorland General Hospital, she is currently waiting for her second kidney transplant, set to be donated by her husband, Councillor Chris Hogg, the current Mayor of Kendal.   But rather than sitting around until the operation, she and her husband are using their experience to encourage residents of Kendal to sign up to the organ donor register.

When Rachael was 18, she contracted a virus on holiday in Italy that caused both kidneys to fail.   Three years later following various treatments and dialysis, Rachael had her first kidney transplant.  She explains, “I remember vividly the call on 16th July 1990 to say they had a kidney for me and it was a perfect match.  It was emotional because I know that someone had to die to donate their kidney.  The transplant went ahead the next morning and it gave me a new lease of life.  I went from being on dialysis and suffering from fatigue, nausea and aching bones to becoming a champion in the British transplant games team in volleyball and tennis.” 

Twenty five years on, Rachael is in need of another transplant and has started to experience tiredness and nausea again.  By chance, her husband was found to be a match and they are now preparing for the transplant to take place.  

Rachael has worked for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for two years and has found the adjustments made by her manager to accommodate her illness have been beneficial to her and to the Trust.   “Clare Rice was my line manager at the time and had noticed that I was becoming tired especially towards the end of the day.  Following advice from occupational health we agreed that I would work one day a week from home, a Wednesday so that it broke the week up.  It was just what I needed and as a result, have never had a day sick since.  And that’s what I want because I love my work.   I’m really proud of working for the NHS because of what they have done for me”

Now Rachael and her husband Chris are leading a campaign to help Kendal become the first donor town in the UK, aiming for 1000 new donors to sign up in the town within a year. 

So why should you sign up to the organ donor register?   Rachael says, “I always say to people if you needed an organ, would you be prepared to take one?,  If the answer is yes then sign up, you never know what is round the corner, it could happen to you, your family or friends.  There is a shortage of organ donors and three people are dying every day because of a lack of donors.  You can’t take them to the grave.”  Do something amazing today to support our amazing people, sign up to be an organ donor here.