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Transplant patient thanks King’s hospital staff with gold medal

20 July 2023 - More patients donated their organs at King’s College Hospital than at any other Trust in the UK last year, figures have revealed.

Karen Rockell, 68, visited King’s College Hospital to meet with the staff who cared for her in 2010 when she underwent a successful liver transplant. Karen, who lives in Northampton, was diagnosed with a rare auto immune disease, and developed liver cancer meaning she required a donor organ.

Karen said: “From the sonographer who spotted the signs of cancer on my annual liver scan, to the team who kept me going while I waited on the transplant register, and to Mr Parthi Srinivasan who carried out my life saving surgery, I’ve been lucky to have benefitted from incredible care and treatment from the team at King’s. I can never say thank you enough.

“As a way of giving back to King’s, and the broader transplant community, I am Co-Director of the UK Organ Donation and Transplantation Research Network. I have also teamed up with two other people to set up a LISTEN patient public involvement and engagement group to support research at King’s.”

“I also owe everything to my donor and their family: I would not be here without their gift of life.”
In April this year, Karen travelled to Australia to represent Great Britain in the World Transplant Games, winning three gold medals, one silver and one bronze in swimming. A few weeks later on 20 June, she presented one of her medals to Mr Parthi Srinivasan, consultant surgeon at King’s College Hospital, who carried out Karen’s liver transplant.

Mr Parthi Srinivasan said: “Karen’s medal was the most touching gift I have received from a patient throughout my career, and I will take good care of it for her. It has been a privilege to see Karen go from strength to strength after her surgery, and we’d all like to congratulate her on a fantastic performance at the World Transplant Games.”

The latest figures from NHS Blood and Transplant show that 44 patients donated their organs after death at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust last year (April 2022-March 2023), which is more than any other Trust in the whole of the UK. A team of specialist nurses in organ donation based at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust help to make sure organ donation conversations are a part of end-of-life care, saving and transforming the lives of other patients.

Mr Parthi Srinivasan added: “Karen is a great example of the life-changing impact of organ donation. We are able to save lives through the kindness and generosity of our patients and families who prevent another family from facing the loss of a loved one. Please register your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register. If your family know what you want to happen when you die, they are much more likely to honour that decision and make organ donation a possibility.”

To find out more, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk