How to discuss your decision
A few words can make an extraordinary difference. Get some tips on how to start a conversation about organ donation here.
Jordan Walker, a former QPR apprentice footballer, became a lifesaving organ donor after collapsing on a treadmill in the gym from a sudden stroke.
Jordan, from Ruislip Manor, London, was 23 when he fell ill in June 2017, during a morning gym session before work. He had played for QPR in the youth development team from his schoolboy days until the age of 19.
He had second stroke on the way to hospital and then a third stroke overnight at Charing Cross Hospital, and did not recover from the brain injuries he suffered as a result.
The family later learned that Jordan had a non-cancerous tumour in his heart, called an atrial myxoma. A blood clot had formed around the lump and then broke away and become lodged in his brain.
His family agreed to donate and five of his organs were used for transplants. They were told Jordan had joined the NHS Organ Donor Register through the DVLA website when he got his driving licence.
His dad John Walker, an audit manager for the NHS, said: “Jordan was really young and fit and at some stage we were going to be faced with awkward questions about donation.
What he did, by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register, was take the pressure off. He had made the decision.
John said: “It’s not the best of times; as a parent you are dealing with all sorts of emotions.
“He made things as easy as possible by taking that decision away from us. It was a blessing not to have to make the decision; you are not in the right frame of mind to make a decision like that.”
John said Jordan was known as a friendly and caring person who liked to help people.
“We feel very proud to know that Jordan has helped someone to live a better life.
“One of the social media posts that stood out to me was that he never had a bad word to say about anybody,” said John.
Jordan had been working as a sales negotiator for an estate agent when he died.
John said as a family they had not given much thought to organ donation beforehand. Since Jordan’s donation, John has signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, as has Jordan’s sister Ashley and Jordan’s mum Teresa Barker.
“We thought what Jordan did, by becoming a donor, was great and that we should do it too,” said John.