THE belief that, as is happening in Wales, you are presumed to be willing to be an organ donor unless you register to opt out is probably the best way to deal with the shortage of donated organs.

In fact, I feel quite strongly that if you want to opt out, then you shouldn’t expect to be able to receive a transplant if you need one. Fair’s fair, after all.

That point of view was reinforced for me when I went to interview Zoe Armstrong and her family. Zoe is a 35 year-old from Horwich who, just a few months ago, was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition after she collapsed at the Tesco store at Middlebrook.

Unknown to Zoe, her long-term weight-gain, migraines, palpitations and panic attacks over several years were signs of the rare condition Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t picked up and suddenly, the mum of two adorable boys and a loving wife to Dave, found herself at the end stage of a terminal condition. Only a double lung transplant will now save her life.

Sadly, according to the latest figures, the number of people donating organs in 2014/2015 has fallen for the first time in 11 years. This means that 224 fewer people received an organ transplant.

For many individuals, a transplant can turn ill health into a good quality of life. For many others, like Zoe, it’s the difference between life and death.

The rate of consent or authorisation for organ donation remains stubbornly below 60 per cent and it’s very likely that it’s not higher because people just don’t talk about their wishes. Now, NHS Blood and Transplant, wants everyone in the UK to discuss the subject and decide what they would do if they were called on to donate.

If you were asked to donate a kidney to your child, it’s very likely you would – but, for some reason, we avoid even thinking about how our death could bring life to someone else.

I’ve known Zoe since she was a young girl. She was a great friend of my eldest daughter, often played at our house and has grown up into a lovely young woman who deserves a decent shot at life with her sons and her very supportive husband.

You can register as an organ donor simply by going online to or calling 0300 123 2323 or texting SAVE to 62323.