Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Potential donors join campaign as Barnstaple teen transplant recipient takes on life with new lungs.
THOUSANDS of people in North Devon have signed the UK Organ Donor Register in the last 18 months.
According to NHS figures, 3,336 people joined the register since the Gazette first reported news of Barnstaple teenager Katie Gammon’s wait for a double lung transplant in October 2012 – an increase of six per cent.
Katie, 15, had a life saving transplant in August last year but continues to campaign to promote organ donation. Her on-line blog has had nearly 54,000 page views.
There are currently 17 people awaiting organ donation in North Devon and Torridge and so far this year there have been eight transplants.
As of March 5, 57,374 people in North Devon and Torridge had signed the register.
Katie said: It’s great that so many people are signing the organ donor register – having a lung transplant is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
“It’s still quite a battle but my lungs are now functioning at 90 per cent and I’ve been really well.
“Life is really good and I can do everything except run; I’m back at school and am studying for my GCSE exams in six weeks.
“I’m looking forward to going on holiday with my friends and am hoping to take part in the British Transplant Games at Bolton in August – it’ll mark the first anniversary since I had my transplant.”
It was a record year for transplants in England last year – 2,881 patients received transplants and the number of people donating organs rose by 12 per cent on the previous year from 984 to 1,103.
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 1232323.