08:00 Monday 23 December 2013

Plea for organ donors after shock figures

Written byROB SMYTH

A DESPERATE plea has been made to try and get more people to sign up to become an organ donor – after figures showed that 10 people in Burton and South Derbyshire died while waiting for people to come forward.

NHS Blood and Transplant highlighted the shock statistics in a bid to get more people to sign up and potentially save a life.

The service also revealed that a total of 311 people will be waiting nervously during the Christmas period for a transplant and a only a third of people across both areas have ever signed up to be an organ donor.

Anthony Clarkson, acting director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Don’t miss the opportunity to discuss organ donation when you’re with your family this Christmas.

“ We know that Christmas is a time for enjoying ourselves and talking about the nice things in life like future holidays.

But for people in need of an organ, Christmas is a very difficult time so we are urging everybody to talk about organ donation.

“Thirty-five people in Staffordshire have received a life-saving transplant from a donor this year.

One of those people saved was Burton teacher Katherine Sinfield, who formed the basis of a Mail campaign that urged people to ‘Take Five Minutes’ to register to be a blood and organ donor. The 33-year old was told that a bone marrow transplant was the only way which she would beat a diagnosis of leukemia.

She said: “I received the best Christmas present anyone could wish for on October 29 - the day I received a bag of cells from an unknown donor.

“Unfortunately, for some, that Christmas present which they so desperately long and hope for, never arrives. But this isn’t a present they can buy in the January sales. Not receiving this vital present is quite simply, a life and death balancing act.

“Wouldn’t it be good, if everyone who is hoping for that life-saving present - be it blood, bone marrow or an organ - receives exactly what they need. Instead of sending your details to Santa, stick your name on the donor register and help Santa deliver those presents which are so vital.”

To join the register, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.

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