Christmas organ donor drive aims to give the gift of life to thousands

Organ Donation - stock image
Organ Donation - stock image

Transplant experts are appealing to people in South Tyneside to give others the gift of life.

NHS Blood and Transplant is calling on people of all ages to take a few minutes of their time online this Christmas to register as an organ donor.

Nationally there are 6,500 people - including 150 children - living a life in limbo - waiting for a call that means a life-saving organ has become available.

Sadly a shortage of donors means too many people die before they get the transplant they need.

While most people - 81% - say they support organ donation, only around a third of people in the UK - 23.3 million - have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Most admit they just “haven’t got round” to joining yet.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation said: “It’s a terrible shame that so many people who want to save lives through organ donation have not taken the next, simple step to register that decision.

“We all have busy lives, yet most of us would admit that we still find ourselves whiling time away and delaying doing important things. “Signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register is one thing we know people often just haven’t got around to doing.

“This Christmas, we are asking everyone who supports organ donation to take just a few minutes of their online time to show that support by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

There is no age limit to joining the register.

Experts also say people should make sure they have a conversation with their family about organ donation - making their wishes clear after their death.

There is a particular need for more black and Asian organ donors.

People from black and Asian communities have a higher incidence of conditions such as diabetes and certain forms of hepatitis, making them more likely to need a transplant, yet people from these communities are less likely to agree to organ donation.”

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk or #timetosign #organdonation