As Christmas approaches, the NHS is encouraging families to talk about organ donation wishes as 65 people wait for a transplant in Northamptonshire.
NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) is urging people to take a moment during the festivities to talk about their organ donation decision and to leave their family members certain of what they want to happen.
There are currently 65 patients awaiting the life-saving gift of an organ transplant in Northamptonshire, according to NHS data, and many of their lives could be saved or significantly improved if a donor is found.
Yet every day across the UK someone dies in need of an organ transplant.
Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHSBT, said: “Wherever and however people in Northamptonshire plan to spend this Christmas, we hope that everyone will be able to enjoy the festivities and spend some much needed time with family and friends.
“For many thousands of people across the country, including 29 people in Northamptonshire who have had transplants this year, the only reason that they are able to enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas is thanks to the generosity of a donor and their family who so selflessly chose to give the gift of life.
“However, there are still thousands of people who are still desperately hoping and waiting for the transplant that will transform their life.
“Please take a moment this Christmas to let your family know your organ donation decision and leave them certain of your decision.
“We know that for many thousands of people across the UK, including 65 people in Northamptonshire, the greatest gift they could receive this year will be a phone call telling them that a donor has been found for them.”
Even though the law around organ donation has now moved to an opt out system across England, Wales, and Scotland, many are still not aware that families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.
Only 42 percent of the UK population have registered their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and just 37 percent say that they have shared their organ donation decision with their family.
For more information, or to register your organ donation decision, visit the organ donation website or call 0300 123 23 23.