The Yorkshire Post says: Overcoming '˜yuck factor' to increase eye donors will transform lives

Anyone who decides to become an organ donor deserves the highest praise for offering the gift of life to people in desperate need.

Only one in ten organ donors agrees to donate their eyes.

But new figures show that only one in ten donors currently opt to donate their eyes, with families of donors also often declining to consent to the procedure despite the fact that the eye is never transplanted whole.

The phenomenon has been summarised by experts from NHS Blood and Transplant as being down to the ‘yuck factor’; that many people feel squeamish about their eyes which are often described as being windows to the soul.

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While this reluctance is understandable to a large extent, it does mean there is a current shortage of donations - meaning hundreds of people are being left waiting for sight-saving operations which would transform their lives.

One patient who has been fortunate enough to undergo such an operation is paediatrician Dr Victoria Parsonson, who almost lost her sight before she received a cornea transplant in 2001.

She is now able to help countless other people in her job as a children’s doctor; perfectly highlighting the importance of such donations to society.

It is clearly not a simple decision, even for those who are happy for other organs including hearts, livers and kidneys to go to others after their deaths.

But with people able to donate their eyes up until their mid-80s - and the NHS currently requiring 90 donations a week to meet the demand for sight-saving transplants - the gift of making such a transformative donation is a genuine window to the soul of the selfless people who make such a decision.