Bishopbriggs schoolboy's hope after life-saving organ transplant

A Bishopbriggs teenager who benefited from a life-saving liver transplant 15 years ago, has spoken of his gratitude and his hope that the new opt-out system of organ and tissue donation will help save lives.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 10:15 am
Evan Goodbrand

Evan Goodbrand (16) was diagnosed with the liver condition biliary atresia when he was just eight weeks old.

He was placed on the waiting list for a transplant at the age of eight months, with the surgery going ahead in Leeds a month later when a suitable donor liver was found.

Now a young adult, Evan is healthy and happy and ready to move on to the next chapter of his life.

The opt-out law, being introduced this week, means that if people aged 16 and over haven’t recorded a decision about whether or not they wish to donate an organ, they will be considered a possible donor.

People can record their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register at any time.

Family will still be involved in the donation process and asked about a loved one’s latest views, to ensure donation doesn’t proceed where the individual would not have wanted it to.

Evan’s mum Karen said: “After his diagnosis, Evan was a really unhappy boy. You could see how much discomfort he was in. He was really jaundiced, unable to eat properly and was constantly itchy.

“After his transplant surgery, we weren’t sure if he would make it but after two weeks he turned a corner. He’s never looked back.

"He’s on a low dose of medication and has to get check-ups but apart from that, he’s like any other boy his age.

“His transplant was the most wonderful gift we could ever receive and we’re so grateful to the donor for giving Evan this second chance at life.”

Evan added: “I think the law change is a positive thing, and hope it not only increases awareness of organ donation but helps many more people like me.”

Public Health Minister Mairi Gougeon said: “In Scotland there are an average of more than 500 people waiting for an organ transplant at any one time. Only one per cent of people die in circumstances where they might become a donor. Every opportunity for donation is precious.”

Visit organdonationscotland.org or call 0300 303 2094.