While many of us are counting down to the festive break, 6,891 people in the UK are waiting for a call that will change their lives – they’re desperately hoping for an organ transplant. And a few minutes from you could make all the difference.
Three people a day die before they get the organ they need – that’s over 1,000 people in Britain by the end of the year. The newly-launched Christmas List campaign aims to change that.
By signing up to the NHS Organ Donar Register this Christmas, and letting your family know your wishes while encouraging them to do the same, NHS Blood and Transplantation will be able to save more lives. This year alone, 4,168 patients will be able to spend the festivities with their families after being offered the organ they need. But for those still waiting, Christmas can be hard.
Jack Leggett from South Shields died aged nine in December 2013. His family took the decision to donate his organs to three people.
Jack’s dad, Alfie Leggett says: ‘Organ donation is not going to bring someone back but it makes you feel that you are helping someone else.
‘I got a letter from one of the recipients. They said they can’t understand how much pain we are going through but they thanked us from the bottom of their heart. Getting a letter like that makes the decision all worthwhile.’
As Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transportation explains: ‘Quite simply, there’s a shortage of donated organs but if more families agreed to donate a loved one’s organs, more people would get the transplants they need’.
To join the NHS Organ Donar Register, visit organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 123 23 23 or text SAVE to 62323.