Hundreds have to endure wait for transplant

A new drive has been launched to recruit organ donors
A new drive has been launched to recruit organ donors
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figures released today show more than 500 people are currently on the transplant waiting list in the Yorkshire region with more than 150 waiting longer than two years for a life-saving donor.

NHS Blood and Transplant says more than 160 lives have been lost in the region between April 2011 and November 2015 because of the shortage of organs and today it launches a new campaign to encourage more people to become donors.

In the region there are 44 patients who have been on the waiting list for over five years, according to the new statistics from NHS Blood and Transplant.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation said: “Statistically, more than one in ten people on the waiting list will die before they get the transplant they need. For some organs, the picture is significantly bleaker. More than one in four people waiting for lungs will die.”

Nearly 49,000 people in the UK have endured the wait for an organ transplant in the last 10 years and over 6,000, including 270 children, have died before receiving the transplant they desperately needed.

In North Yorkshire the figures show there are currently 103 people on the transplant waiting list, in West Yorkshire 221 people are currently waiting for a donor, while in South Yorkshire the figure is 158 and in the East Riding 31 are waiting for a life-saving donor.

The figures released today by NHS Blood and Transplant coincide with the launch of a new organ donation campaign ‘The Wait’ to highlight the true scale of the donor organ shortage.

A 14-hour film capturing a day in the life of patient Simon Howell, 41, his wife Anita, also 41, and their children Sarah, eight, and James, three, launches the new campaign. Born with a serious kidney condition, renal dysplasia, Mr Howell had his first kidney transplant in 2005 thanks to his mum offering to be a living donor.

Unfortunately, in 2009, the kidney failed and Mr Howell was added to the transplant waiting list for a new kidney and has been waiting longer than six years already.

Mr Howell allowed the cameras into his family home in Burgess Hill, Sussex, to record the reality of just one of the many days he has spent waiting for a suitable organ. “My family and I are on a roller coaster and like a roller coaster, I can’t see the twists and turns or how it will end. But a transplant would completely transform my health and all our lives,” Mr Howell said.

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register please go to organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.