Thousands sign up to save lives in run up to British Transplant Games

The Glasgow Kids team which took part in the British Transplant Games

The Glasgow Kids team which took part in the British Transplant Games

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

MORE than 2,500 people have Signed Up To Save Lives.

Since we launched our Sign Up To Save Lives campaign, hundreds of you have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register — now we want more.

The campaign was launched in the run up to the British Transplant Games — held last weekend in Bolton.

The games were hailed as the “biggest and best” to date — and now health chiefs hope supporters will be inspired by the athletes who took part.

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, chairman of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is vitally important as organ donation really does save lives.

“The CCG has been a big supporter of the British Transplant Games 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.”

Last year was a record year for organ donation in the UK, with 4,655 transplants operations carried out, a 10 per cent rise on the previous year.

Yet three people still died in the UK every day last year waiting for a donation.

According to new figures released by NHS Blood and Transplant, nearly one in four organ transplants in 2013/14 came from “living donors”, who donated a kidney or part of their liver.

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A key part of becoming a donor is telling loved ones of your intention just in case tragedy should strike.

During 2013/14, more than four in 10 families approached about organ donation refused permission for their loved ones organs to be used.

NHS Blood and Transplant's director of organ donation and transplantation Sally Johnson said: “Despite year-on-year increases in activity, the UK can and must do more to save and improve lives through organ donation and transplantation.

“Family refusal is our biggest problem and it’'s sad we lag so far behind some other countries in terms of consent and authorisation rates to donation.

“Every potential donor is precious and whenever a family cannot bring themselves to donate, patients waiting for an organ may die.”

Such patients include former teacher Graham Brushett, from Turton, ex-policeman John Roberts, from Bromley Cross, and Breightmet’s Natalie Kerr, who had a double lung transplant only two years ago.

To Sign Up to Save Lives, go to the NHS organ donor register at organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 1232323 or text SAVE to 62323.

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