The gift of life
Jordan Clarke is just like any other 15 year old. He enjoys playing squash, spends probably too much time on Facebook and is a member of the Theatre on the Steps. What makes Jordan very different is that at the age of 8, he was the lucky recipient of a liver, when his own failed, in a life-saving transplant operation performed at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Now Jordan is making it his mission to spread the word about how important it is to sign up to the NHS National Organ Donor Register. Having given assemblies to all pupils at Bridgnorth Endowed School, where he is a pupil, he is hoping through the pages of What’s What to impress upon a wider audience what a difference organ donorship can make by giving the ‘gift of life’ to critically ill people, many of whom are waiting, in desperate need of a transplant for far too long.
“It is a strange concept having something in my body which once belonged to someone else,” said Jordan. “But I have met the family of the donor, who was a 14 year old boy called Ryan, and they are so pleased that through the transplant I have been given the chance of a full and active life. My family and I have developed a very special relationship with my donor’s family, it’s obviously a sensitive relationship and our meeting last summer was very emotional.”
Jordan, who is looking forward to going on a school trip to China at Easter, is a great ambassador both for his cause and for his school. “I will always have to take anti-rejection drugs, but otherwise my new liver works perfectly as part of me. I’m pleased that many people at school have signed up to become donors so far, and hope that others will follow. It’s a difficult subject for people to get their heads around, particularly people my age”.
Jordan will be representing Bridgnorth when he takes up the great honour of carrying the Olympic Torch in the summer. See our special Olympic page 8-9 for more!