A 54-year-old woman who has been waiting 16 months for new lungs is urging people in Northamptonshire to become an organ donor this Christmas.
Julie Dennison says she has been "waiting patiently for the most precious gift that anyone can give".
Sixteen months have passed, I have become worse since going onto the list. Waiting is so very hard. It is a very lonely place for me, the waiting space. The most basic things I used to take for granted, now take my breath away," she said.
In Northamptonshire, 279,314 people have registered their decision to be an organ donor, but there are still 6,500 people across the country, including 150 children, living a life in limbo, waiting for a call that will change their lives. In Northamptonshire alone, there are 51 people on the transplant waiting list.
Sadly a shortage of donors means too many people die before they get the transplant they need. In the last five years 42 people in Northamptonshire have died waiting for a transplant.*
While most people (81%) say they support organ donation, only around a third of people in the UK (23.3 million) have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register. Too many people admit they just “haven’t got round” to joining yet.
Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation said: “It’s a terrible shame that so many people who want to save lives through organ donation have not taken the next, simple step to register that decision.
"We all have busy lives, yet most of us would admit that we still find ourselves whiling time away and delaying doing important things. Signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register is one thing we know people often just haven’t got around to doing.
"This Christmas, we are asking everyone who supports organ donation to take just a few minutes of their online time to show that support by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.”
To find out more, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or search on social media for #timetosign and #organdonation