More than 500 people in Northamptonshire owe their life to organ donors - a new study has found.
NHS Blood and Transplant, whose annual Transplant Activity Report has been published today, shows the UK-wide number of people alive thanks to transplants has reached 50,000.
Here in Northamptonshire, 548 people are currently alive thanks to the lifesaving transplants, including 46 in the last year alone.
NHS Blood and Transplant is now urging people in Northamptonshire to help even more people to survive by joining the NHS organ donor register.
Director of organ donation Sally Johnson, said: “More people than ever in Northamptonshire are committing to organ donation and that is saving more lives than ever. It’s amazing to picture all the people now alive today thanks to organ donation and think of all the families and children who have grown up thanks to donors.
“We’re seeing more and more people committing to donation and the good results of our close work with hospitals. Our specialist nurses in organ donation are now almost always involved in discussions with families over organ donation.
“However there is still a long way to go. Around three people still die a day in need of a transplant. Every one of those people who died could be a mother or a father, a daughter or a son, who might be alive today.
“Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process. We don’t want anyone in Northamptonshire to miss the opportunity to save lives through organ donation. Please join the NHS organ donor register. It only takes two minutes.”
In Northamptonshire, the number of people on the donor register has increased by 29 per cent over the past five years. There are now 285,748 people on the register in Northamptonshire, compared to 220,901 five years ago.
Anyone can sign up, regardless of existing medical conditions.
The public support for donation also means more people in Northamptonshire are receiving lifesaving transplants. Last year 46 people in Northamptonshire had transplants, compared to 38 five years ago.
But the NHS says there is still a shortage of organ donors. Nationally, three people still die a day in need of a transplant and there are still around 6,400 people currently waiting for a transplant.
The health service says there is a particular need for people to register from black and Asian backgrounds. People from the same ethnic background are more likely to be a match but there are not enough black and Asian donors.
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, head to www.organdonation.nhs.uk