Seventy-one people in Northamptonshire are on the waiting list for an organ transplant, it has been revealed as the annual organ donor Christmas List campaign is launched.
This December, NHS Blood and Transplant is running the Christmas List campaign to draw attention to the thousands of people who are waiting for a transplant across the UK and to encourage everyone to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Sadly, not all of those waiting will get the transplant they need.
New figures show 46 people in Northamptonshire have died while on the transplant waiting list over the past five years, and their families will be facing Christmas without them.
Other people have been more fortunate and will be able to celebrate Christmas looking ahead to a brighter future. 49 patients in Northamptonshire have received a transplant already this year thanks to families agreeing to donate a loved one’s organs.
Christmas can be a difficult time for people on the transplant waiting list.
Their condition may mean they are too sick to enjoy it and many will worry it could be their last Christmas.
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, said: “Every year thousands of patients on the waiting list in Northamptonshire and around the country have a Christmas clouded with anxiety and uncertainty. Some severely ill people might spend the whole of Christmas in hospital, just hoping they get a life-saving transplant.
“While for others, their condition may mean they can’t enjoy Christmas traditions like the rest of us. For example, people waiting for a kidney transplant may not be able to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner because eating the wrong food may make them more unwell.
“Quite simply, there is a shortage of donated organs but if more families agreed to donate a loved one’s organs, more people would get the transplants they need.
“So when you are spending time with your loved ones this Christmas, please take a few minutes to sign the Organ Donor Register, and tell your family you’d be proud to become a donor. By telling those closest to you that you want to donate you will remove the burden of them having to guess what you would have wanted at a difficult time.”
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 123 23 23 or text SAVE to 62323. Once you’ve signed up tell those closest to you that you want to donate.