Belfast Telegraph

Harewood reveals organ donor move

Homeland star David Harewood has revealed that watching someone he knew die inspired him to become an organ donor.

The 47-year-old actor joined a number of famous faces, including Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, Emmerdale actor Wil Johnson and news presenter Kay Burley, in supporting a campaign urging people to pass on their organ donation wishes and sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register for National Transplant Week, which begins today.

"It's an important issue, but it's a sensitive subject," Harewood said.

"There are hundreds of people waiting for organs around the country. If people had this conversation with their families, many people could have their lives saved or prolonged with the help these organs could provide.

"I wanted to be involved in this campaign because life is precious. You can't take it with you so it's important you help to pass it on."

In a video clip released for the campaign, the actor - who played CIA deputy David Estes in the Emmy-winning political thriller Homeland - said: "When you actually see it (death), it's such a powerful thing. I suppose, I thought he would just look like he was sleeping... but that something special is missing and that's when it hits home. That's when you realise they're dead. I'll never forget that sight."

The Birmingham-born father-of-two, who previously donated his bone marrow to help a stranger in 2007, said his wife Kirsty encouraged him to discuss the issue of organ donation.

"I'm very lucky I've got a straight-talking partner, who took the emotion out of it. She's very matter-of-fact and I was very surprised by her bluntness," he added.

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