Superhero Campaign Enlists 250 Students ; NHS Recruits Organ Donors
By LIZA WILLIAMS
HUNDREDS of Liverpool students have signed up to become organ donors after the launch of an NHS campaign in the city.
A roadshow aimed at new students visited John Moores University earlier this month, and more than 250 people signed up to the Organ Donor Register (ODR).
The Superhero campaign is continuing online to encourage more students to register.
Ph.D student Philip Widdowson, 23, knows first hand the importance of donors.
The Liverpudlian who is studying structural biology/biochemistry at the University of Liverpool, suffered from keratoconus, an eye disease which causes the cornea to stretch, resulting in short- sight and irregular vision.
In September, 2003, Mr Widdowson underwent a cornea transplant at Liverpool’s St Paul’s Eye Hospital.
He said: “Before the operation my vision was awful. I had had the condition since I was about 13, and had to go through most of my secondary education with difficulties in seeing.
“Sitting GCSE and A-levels is daunting enough without the additional worry of whether my poor sight would cost me the grades I needed.
“Since the transplant I have graduated from university with a first in biochemistry and am now studying for a Ph.D.
“I don’t think all of this would have been possible without the transplant.
“My everyday life has improved.
Simple things like seeing the ball during a football match, being able to see friends in a pub without squinting, or seeing my violin music from more than a few inches away.
“The transplant has given me a much better general quality of life as well as the opportunity to have a successful education. I can’t stress how grateful I am to my donor and their family.”
Those logging onto the website can use a web-based application called Superhero-me to turn themselves into superheroes, join the ODR, and spread the message.
NHS Blood and Transplant Organ Donation marketing and campaigns manager, Angie Burton, said: “Students don’t have to be able to run faster than a speeding bullet, have X-ray vision or climb buildings to become a superhero and help save lives.
“Instead, it takes another kind of superpower – to use our generosity of spirit and give the ‘gift of life’, to help others to live on after our deaths.
“It doesn’t take much to demonstrate this power; all we’re asking is for students to join the 15.6m other superheroes who have already joined the ODR and to discuss their wishes with their families.”
LOG on to www.superherome.co.uk for information.
(c) 2008 Daily Post; Liverpool. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.