DOZENS of people from Gloucestershire have died in the last five years waiting for an organ donor to come forward and over 100 remain on the waiting list.
NHS Blood and Transplant is highlighting the figures to encourage people to spell out their decision to be an organ donor during National Transplant Week, which runs from Monday, July 7 until Sunday, July 13.
The aim of this year’s campaign is to increase awareness that the decision to donate a loved one’s organs falls to the family if you die in circumstances where you can donate.
In Gloucestershire, 34 residents have died due to the shortage of organs in the last five years and there are currently 115 people in the county waiting for a transplant.
NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to spell out their decision to donate by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and by having a conversation with their family.
A number of famous faces are also backing the transplant week campaign including Katie Piper, Beth Tweddle, Ruth Langsford and Wil Johnson.
On average, three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK because there are not enough organs available.
The organisation is hoping to reverse this trend by encouraging families to donate their loved one’s organs after death, as currently four out of ten families are not giving permission to donate when approached.
Sally Johnson, director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said last year 43 people living in Gloucestershire benefited from a life-saving organ transplant thanks to families making the decision to donate.
“We know that families are much less likely to allow organ donation to go ahead if they don’t know it’s what their loved one wanted,” she said.
“To help more people we need everyone, even if you’re one of the 322,050 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Gloucestershire, to tell those closest to you that you want to donate your organs. Please have the conversation and spell it out.”
For more information, visit www.transplantweek.co.uk