More people are alive in Norfolk because of organ transplants than ever before, new figures have revealed.
But health chiefs say more donors are still needed here, despite a substantial increase in the number of registered donors in recent years, to ensure that even more patients in need can be helped.
The annual Transplant Activity Report from the NHS Blood and Transplant service, which was issued on Tuesday, revealed that more than 50,000 people across the UK are alive because of transplants.
In Norfolk, the figure is 672 and officials say the number of registered donors in the county has risen by 28 per cent, to almost 350,000, in the past five years.
Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “More people than ever in Norfolk are committing to organ donation and that is saving more lives than ever.
“It’s amazing to picture all the people now alive today thanks to organ donation and think of all the families and children who have grown up thanks to donors.
“We’re seeing more and more people committing to donation and the good results of our close work with hospitals.
“Our specialist nurses in organ donation are now almost always involved in discussions with families over organ donation.”
But the service says that, despite the progress made to date, there are still more than 6,000 people nationally who are waiting for a transplant.
Ms Johnson said: “There is still a long way to go. Around three people still die a day in need of a transplant.
“Every one of those people who died could be a mother or a father, a daughter or a son, who might be alive today.
“Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process. We don’t want anyone in Norfolk to miss the opportunity to save lives through organ donation.
“Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register. It only takes two minutes.”
People can register as organ donors online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or by phoning the 24 hour donor line on 0300 1232323.