A FORMER teacher whose life was saved by a double organ transplant visited his old school to urge students to Sign Up To Save Lives.
Graham Brushett taught politics and business studies at Rivington and Blackrod High School, but was forced to retire in 2001 when he suffered heart and kidney failure.
He is deaf in one ear and uses a stick for walking, but insists he is fortunate to be alive after receiving a new heart and kidney from a young man from the North East he had never met.
Mr Brushett, aged 59, who lives in Bradshaw Road, Turton, with wife Gill, visited his former workplace as part of a tour of schools in the region.
The Bolton News is campaigning, ahead of August’s Transplant Games in the town, to get 5,000 extra people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.
Mr Brushett’s visit was part of an awareness day at the school, which saw sixth-form students given talks on alcohol abuse and dangerous driving.
He said: “I go back to the school at least once a year and the students are very receptive.
“When you ask them whether they would want a loved one having their life saved by a transplant, they all put their hands up.
“After that, it is easier to get the message across that it works both ways, and that people must consider it.
“Hopefully, the talks will help them make an informed decision and crucially discuss the matter with their families.”
Paul Canning, head of the sixth form, said: “Graham was a hugely successful and charismatic teacher here.
“Before he had the transplant he looked about 150 years old — it has made a massive impact on him.
“His talks are very powerful and the students are still talking about it a few days later.
“I am a donor and this is vital in getting the message out there to students.”
To Sign Up to Save Lives, go to the NHS website at organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 1232323 or text SAVE to 62323.