'Tell your relatives you want to be an organ donor,' urges acid attack model Katie Piper

Katie Piper

Beth Tweddle

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A HOST of celebrities are backing organ donation as we urge Boltonians to Sign Up To Save Lives.

TV presenter and ex-model Katie Piper received a cornea from an organ donor after an horrific acid attack left her blind in one eye and needing a skin graft operation.

She joins Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, TV presenter Ruth Langsford and actor Wil Johnson as public figures to have signed the organ donor register.

Miss Piper said: “Letting your loved ones know you want to be an organ donor is so important.

“My cornea came from an organ donor, and if he had not told his friends and family he wanted to be a donor, my life would be very different today.

“It is devastating for families when someone they love dies, so it’s not fair to expect them to have to make the decision for you.”

The Bolton News is campaigning ahead of next month’s Transplant Games in the town to get 5,000 people to sign the register.

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chairman, has signed the register and is backing our campaign.

Dr Bhatiani said: “This is vitally important as organ donation really does save lives. There are thousands of life-saving transplant operations every year.

“The CCG will be supporting the British Transplant Games when it comes to our borough and we are backing The Bolton News campaign to get as many people as possible to register as an organ donor.

“It’s quick and easy to join — I have done it myself.”

On average, three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there are not enough organs available, with about 10,000 people currently in need of an organ transplant.

Miss Tweddle, who won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics, said: “My uncle had a transplant and it transformed his life.

“Seeing him recover is what sparked me to become a donor. It gave him a second life, and I know that my family and I would be willing to do the same for someone else.”

To Sign up to Save Lives go to the NHS organ donor register at organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 123 23 23 or text SAVE to 62323.

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