EADT campaign set to save lives

PUBLISHED: 05:10 22 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

THE lives of more than 4,000 people could be saved or vastly improved after hundreds of EADT readers backed our Sign for Life campaign – registering as organ donors.

THE lives of more than 4,000 people could be saved or vastly improved after hundreds of EADT readers backed our Sign for Life campaign – registering as organ donors.

More than 500 readers have now joined the organ donor register since the campaign was launched last summer, and it is calculated every one of those could help save or significantly improve nine lives.

Last night, the father of a former Suffolk nanny who died last year while waiting for a heart transplant – sparking the EADT campaign – said he felt "humbled" by the news.

Richard Spurgin, father of 27-year-old Kate Trevarthen, said he was "absolutely delighted" with the campaign's success.

Together with his wife Cathy, the retired deputy headteacher from Harleston helped launch Sign For Life in the summer.

He added: "I know Kate would have been flattered and pleased that so many people had taken the time to sign. We really feel quite humbled by it. If just one person is now saved as a result of this it will all have been worthwhile. We're really very grateful to the EADT for running their campaign."

Bob Corfield, of UK Transplant, praising readers for a "tremendous effort", said: "We are very grateful to all those who have signed up to be potential organ donors in response to the EADT campaign. Each and every one of these people has made the decision to leave a legacy of life to other people."

While 500 readers have registered as organ donors directly through the EADT, many others have also signed on in other means in response to the campaign.

There are just over 900,000 people registered from the eastern region, with thousands signing up since Sign for Life began in July.

As every donor has two kidneys, a heart, liver, lungs, pancreas, corneas and tissues, UK Transplant calculates that each donor could save or improve nine lives.

EADT editor Terry Hunt, said: "I would like to extend my personal thanks to everyone who has made the effort to Sign For Life. This is an area where you really can make a difference. There are more than 100 people in our region alone awaiting transplants and we very much hope our campaign will have improved their chances of finding a donor."

There are currently 113 patients waiting for organs in East Anglia, including 100 for kidneys, two for a heart, four for lungs and four for a liver.

Last year, 46 organ transplants were carried out in the region, including 27 kidney, four heart, three lung and 11 liver.

Mr Corfield urged anyone who has not yet signed the organ donor register to do so, stressing that anyone signing should discuss their wishes with their families.

To register, contact the Organ Donation Literature Line on 0845 60 60 400.

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