Hundreds back organ donor campaign

THOUSANDS of lives could be saved or massively improved thanks to hundreds of EADT readers who have backed our Sign for Life campaign.More than 500 people have signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register in response to the campaign, which was launched one year ago.

By Danielle Nuttall

THOUSANDS of lives could be saved or massively improved thanks to hundreds of EADT readers who have backed our Sign for Life campaign.

More than 500 people have signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register in response to the campaign, which was launched one year ago.

And every person who signs the register has the potential to save or dramatically improve the life of at least nine other people.


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There are currently more than 5,500 people on the UK transplant waiting list and 400 people every year die before receiving an organ, which could have saved their life.

Since the Sign for Life appeal was launched, UK Transplant, the NHS organisation that ensures donated organs are matched and allocated to patients in a fair and unbiased way, said 523 people in the region had signed up as a result of our campaign.

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UK Transplant spokesman Bob Corfield said: "There is a massive shortage of organ donors in the UK and everyone of the people who phoned as a result of the campaign may potentially save the life of another human being.

"We are hugely short of organ donors. The Organ Donor Register is the best means that people can state their wish to help someone live after they have gone."

The benefits of becoming a donor were highlighted at the launch of the campaign when the EADT featured the touching story of 27-year-old Kate Trevarthen, a former Suffolk nanny, who died while waiting for a heart transplant.

The young woman was diagnosed with a heart disease in February 2000.

Her decision to be an organ donor meant more than 50 people were able to receive life-enhancing surgery.

Her parents Richard and Cathy Spurgin, of Harleston, have campaigned tirelessly since their daughter's death to encourage more people to pledge their organs.

Mr Spurgin said: "I think it's fantastic that 500 people have signed up. Even if it had been one it would be worthwhile.

"At some point, somebody's life is going to be saved or enhanced for the better by at least one of these people and we have to be thankful for that.

"We are very grateful to the EADT for the amount of work that has been done on this.

"People can never know when they might need somebody else's organs. It's actually the best legacy you can leave somebody, forget money."

Kate's organs were used for a total life-enhancing surgery on a total of 54 people including people with serious burns, eye disease and heart disorders.

EADT editor Terry Hunt said: "Our readers responded superbly to our appeal for more people to join the donor register, and we were delighted with the response.

"But there is still a lot of work to be done, and we urge anyone who still has not signed up to do so as soon as they can."

Potential donors are now able to call a new telephone line that enables them to sign up to the register over the telephone. The number is 0845 6060400.

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