Greatest gift in New Year is saving a life

North Devon Gazette

As the New Year approaches, NHS Blood and Transplant is calling on families in Devon to talk about organ donation and register their decision to help save lives.Â

At the end of October, there were 92 patients awaiting the life-saving gift of an organ transplant in Devon 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.Â

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation at NHSBT, said: “For many thousands of people across the country, including 44 people in Devon who have had transplants this year, the only reason that they have been 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. Â

“However, there are still thousands of people who are still desperately hoping and waiting for the transplant that will transform their life.Â

“Please take a moment this New year to let your family know your organ donation decision. Those conversations could help save the lives of people who will be bringing in the new year waiting for a transplant.”Â

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.Â

While families are more likely, and find it easier, to support donation when they already know it is what their loved one wanted, only 42% of the UK population have registered their decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register and just 37% say that they have shared their organ donation decision with their family.Â

For more information, or to register your organ donation decision, please visit: or call 0300 123 23 23. NHS app users can also use the service to record, check or update their organ donation decision.Â

NHS Blood and Transplant also provide donated tissues, stem cells and cord blood. Â