Guest Post – National Transplant Week by Emma Carroll


Organ Donation has always been at the forefront of my mind and in my heart ever since I was quite young.  I always remember telling my Mom at around the age of fourteen that I wanted to register as an organ donor so that it may help others if anything ever happened to me.  My mom helped me sign up and I have been an organ donor ever since.  To me it was such an important choice to make and I really hope one day that my choice may help others in need of a transplant.

This week is National Transplant Week and when lovely author Emma Carroll asked me if I would feature a guest post for something that is close to her heart, that she had written about in In Darkling Wood and to raise awareness of Organ Donation and National Transplant Week I immediately said yes!

*Hands over to Emma*

National Transplant Week

When I started writing ‘In Darkling Wood’ I didn’t know much about heart transplants. I knew I probably wanted to be a donor, and I knew first-hand the effect of life threatening illness on family and friends. It was a start, but I wanted to know more.

 This week 7-13 September is National Transplant Week, aimed at raising awareness of the need for more organ donors. Three people die daily waiting for transplants. This could be reduced dramatically if more of us made clear our wishes to donate.

 Rewind to 2010-11 and my car-share journeys to and from our MA course with writer buddy Maria Farrer. During those journeys, Maria told us about her young nephew who was in dire need of a heart transplant. Time for him was running out.

 Fast forward to 2013. Catching up over lunch with a beaming Maria, she shared news of her nephew’s incredible recovery. A heart had been found just in time. And now this young man –and his family who adored him- had a future to enjoy together. His story inspired Maria’s brilliant second novel ‘ A Flash of Blue’.


You can check out a post about by Maria Farrer  about her nephew over on Fluttering Butterflies here

And his story… the look on Maria’s face as she told it…also had a real impact on me. It stayed, fermenting away in my brain until I was ready to tell my own version through the lives of my fictional characters in ‘In Darkling Wood’.


 When researching transplants- the facts, the procedures, the logistics- what amazed me most were the personal stories of both donor families and the recipients. I didn’t want to write a science textbook. What I wanted was to try to understand the complexity of the situation, and that out of one person’s tragedy comes another person’s hope.

 This BBC documentary captures it brilliantly.

 If you’ve time, do watch it. It’ll get you thinking…

 To register as an organ donor go to

National Transplant Week:

Maria Farrer also wrote a brilliant piece in the Guardian about why young people need to talk about organ donation here

A huge huge thank you to Emma Carroll for this wonderful thought provoking guest post and to Maria for the lovely guest post over on Fluttering Butterflies.

Check out Emma Carroll’s guest post Do You Believe In Fairies here

Also find out more about The Snow Sister and Frost Hollow Hall in the #WinterCarrollReadalong here

I also have an extract from Strange Star here and a Guest Review of Strange Star by Perdita Cargill

Before I go I also wanted to share a transplant story that is truly inspirational by the lovely Dawn Kurtagich….

Join in the conversation on twitter using #NationalTransplantWeek or to register as an organ donor go to



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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek! Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016! © 2014 - 2021 Michelle Toy All Rights Reserved

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6 Responses

  1. I am so thankful and amazingly gleeful about the fact that you posted about transplant week! Thank you so much for spreading awareness. Without it I wouldn’t be here today. <3

  1. September 14, 2015

    […] My latest book’ In Darkling Wood’ centres around Alice, whose younger brother Theo needs- and gets- a heart transplant. The story also features another older boy, Max, who Alice befriends. At the time, I named him Max because it suited his character. Only later did I realise what I’d subconsciously done. A couple of years earlier, my author friend Maria Farrer told me about her nephew who had just had a heart transplant. He was an otherwise normal teenager called Max. You can read the blog post I wrote for Tales of Yesterday on the subject here: […]

  2. December 1, 2015

    […] Emma also did a wonderful guest post for National Transplant Week here […]

  3. July 12, 2016

    […] National Transplant Week […]

  4. July 12, 2016

    […] And also a fab guest post Emma did for National Transplant week here […]