There are 59 people in Northants wishing for one thing this Christmas

NHS Blood and Transplant want people to tell their families about their organ donation wishes
NHS Blood and Transplant want people to tell their families about their organ donation wishes

For 59 Northamptonshire people and their families, there will be only one thing on their Christmas wishlist this year as they wait for an organ transplant.

NHS Blood and Transplant is urging families in Northamptonshire to talk about their decision on organ donation when they get together over the festive season, so their loved ones know what they want when they die.

Baby Ethan, from Luton, is waiting for a heart transplant

Baby Ethan, from Luton, is waiting for a heart transplant

This will hopefully mean more patients can receive the transplants they need.

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Christmas is an incredibly busy time of year, however, away from the rush and bustle of preparing for the holiday, it should also be a time for family and thinking of others.

"We are urging everyone in Northamptonshire to take a moment to think about the people who will spend their Christmas hoping for just one thing: a life saving organ transplant.

"Would you like to help if you could? If you needed a transplant, would you want someone to donate to you?"

NHS Blood and Transplant say you should let your family know your organ donation decision, as this could help save more lives.

Mr Clarkson continued: "Every precious organ donor allows more families to spend special times together.

"A quick chat can save lives, and we know that even at a time of grief families take enormous comfort and pride from their loved one's donation."

Ethan Eaves, from Luton, is just nine months old but will have been waiting for a heart transplant for 100 days on Sunday, December 8, which is three times longer than the average wait for an adult urgent heart patient.

Ethan's dad, Richard, had a heart transplant in January.

Ethan's mum, Roselelia, 34, said: "It is mixed emotions because we know without a heart Ethan will die but then we know and understand another child will have die for Ethan to live.

"It's hard to comprehend it and we wouldn't wish anyone to be in this situation, but we are and are just trying to remain as positive as we can.

"We're excited about Christmas because it is Ethan's first Christmas but sad that we aren't waking up on Christmas Day with him at home."

She said they will be decorating Ethan's bed space with Christmas decorations and hoping good news will come soon. It can be hard to find organs to match children, as they need to find one the right size for the child.

Roselelia said: "We know how difficult it could be to even have these discussions. For anyone to think about dying and death, it is a very morbid subject.

"AlI I ask is you put yourselves in our shoes for one minute and think. Please just talk about it. Share your wishes. I pray that one day we can end the waiting list. We feel helpless and unable to do anything but what we can do is continue to raise awareness.

"We are living proof of the need for organ donation and what it can do. If my husband didn’t have his heart transplant, he may not have been here today."

Roselelia said the valves from her husband's heart were donated and they have discussed and agreed to donate Ethan's organs should he not survive. Roselelia said it would give her comfort to know he would live on and save another person's life.

At the moment, organ donation is done through an opt-in system, where individuals can sign up for an organ donor card or make sure their families know they want to be an organ donor.

From spring 2020, the law is changing and the system will become opt-out. This means all adults in England will be considered to agree to donate their organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate or are in one of the groups not covered by the new law.

Those not covered by the opt-out law are people under 18 years old, people who lack the mental capacity to understand the new law and take necessary action to opt-out, and those who have lived in England for less than 12-months