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Jim Lynskey is proof why Lewis Capaldi’s organ donation song is so important

The 23-year-old is on the waiting list for a new heart because he “has no pulse”

Jim Lynskey organ donation Caters

If you need any more indication of how important Lewis Capaldi’s hit song and music video about organ donation are, look no further than Jim Lynskey.

The 23-year-old contracted viral meningitis not long after he was born, enlarging and weakening his heart.

The result was a series of cardiac arrests as an eight year old and a spot on the transplant list at 19.

Now, he has been given a Left Ventricular Assist Device – a heart pump – because of the frightening fact that he “has no pulse”. And every night he must charge the equipment at the mains to prevent it running out of battery.

“I have no pulse,” said Jim, from Redditch in Worcestershire. “This pump sends a constant flow of blood around my body rather than an organic human pulse. It can be quite bizarre sometimes when people are trying to feel for your pulse and it’s not there.”

Eventually Jim will need a new heart – but a shortage means that he faces an agonising wait.

So he is encouraging, much like Lewis Capaldi, more awareness of organ donation to provide the lifeline that he and 6,000 others on the transplant list in the UK desperately need.

The message Lynskey is trying to get out there is that people should talk with their loved ones so they know what their wishes are.

“Talk about the subject,” he says. “A lot of people will have done so, given that opt-out both in Scotland and in England is pending. It’s more vital than ever to talk about your wishes with your loved ones. Families can override consent of organ donation if that conversation hasn’t been had.

“The most important thing, as well as signing up, is talking about it among families and friends so that what you want to do is made known.”

For more on the dial-moving organ donation campaign, check out this week’s Big Issue magazine, available from vendors around the country and The Big Issue Shop.

Image: Caters

Read the full article in this week's Big Issue.
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