A PERMANENT monument marking the contribution of Lanarkshire's organ donors has been unveiled.
A memorial bench at Chatelherault Country Park, Hamilton, has been erected as a place where families can pause to remember their loved ones and reflect on the lives they have helped to save.
Morag Vickers, a specialist transplant nurse for NHS Lanarkshire, organised the memorial and was present at the unveiling, which was also attended by Vice Lord Lieutenant of Lanarkshire Louis Munn.
Morag said: "I've spoken to a few families and some are very, very pleased with it.
"A memorial like this is something that happens throughout the country but it's never been done here in Lanarkshire.
"We've been trying to think of some way to help families and this seemed like the most appropriate."
Lily Turley, 49, of Hamilton, attended the unveiling ceremony.
Mrs Turley and her husband Davy lost their 13-year-old son Daryl in accident when a motorbike hit him in the street in 2009.
Together they took the heart-wrenching decision to donate Daryl's organs, a decision they do not regret as he was able to give the gift of life to five people.
Mrs Turley said: "I'm absolutely delighted with the memorial. I think it is a perfect, fitting tribute to all the families who have lost somebody.
"The park where it's located is very scenic, it's very well kept and it's just a perfect place to reflect on happier times with the ones you've lost.
"My grandchildren absolutely love that park so I'll be down at least once a week, hopefully once a day if the weather is good."
Mrs Turley is a proud supporter of the Evening Times' Opt For Life campaign, which hopes to persuade the Scottish Government to follow the example of Wales and bring in an opt-out system for organ donation.
This would mean every person in the country would be considered as a possible organ donor unless they have expressed a desire not to do so during their lifetime.
Up to 90% of people in Scotland indicate they support organ donation in the event of their death, but fewer than 50%are on the register.
Changing to a presumed consent system would make more organs available for people who desperately need transplants.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
WE need your help to have organ donation law changed and save more lives. Sign our petition to lend your support to an 'opt-out' system for organ donation at www.eveningtimes.co.uk
You can also sign up on Twitter and Facebook via http://bit.ly/etoptin. And don't forget to send the link to all of your friends and relatives.
To join the existing national organ donor register, text 'ETDONATE' to 61611. Texts are charged at the usual standard network rate (any texts sent in reply are free of charge to the recipient).
You can also join the list by calling the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23. Lines are open 24 hours a day all year round. Calls are charged at your contracted rate for local calls.
To register online visit www.organdonationscotland.org/nhs_organ_donor_register.html