With a fresh call for potential organ donors to sign up as part of National Transplant Week, those registered are being asked to spell out their decision to their families.
After 13 people died across Norfolk in the last year while waiting for a transplant, and with a further 76 people currently waiting for a transplant, demand for organs is high.
Running until Sunday, NHS Blood and Transplant’s campaign aims to raise awareness that the decision to donate a loved one’s organs can fall to the family if circumstances allow you to donate.
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Last year 47 people living in Norfolk benefited from a life-saving organ transplant thanks to families making the decision to donate when a loved one died, a decision that we know makes them incredibly proud.
“We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don’t know it’s what their loved one wanted. To help more people we need everyone to tell those closest to you that you want to donate your organs.
“For those who have already talked about their decision, their family will no longer have the burden of guessing what you would have wanted at an incredibly difficult time and they are more likely to support your decision to donate.”
Dr Hilary Jones said: “More people are willing to be an organ donor than are signed up. But signing up and telling your relatives of your decision would saves thousands of lives. I’d encourage everybody to consider spelling out your donation decision as potentially the greatest gift you can give.”
On average, three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there aren’t enough organs available. More lives would be saved if more families agree to donate their loved one’s organs after death. Sadly, four out of ten families don’t give permission to donate when approached.
For further information about National Transplant Week and to register your organ donation decision go to www.transplantweek.co.uk