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81 People In Dorset Waiting For Organ Transplants

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Published at 7:32am 15th December 2014.

Over 80 people in Dorset are hoping to get a gift that could save their lives this Christmas.

NHS Blood and Transplant are running the Christmas List campaign to highlight the thousands of people who are on the waiting list for an organ transplant across the UK, and to encourage others to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

New figures released say 28 patients in our county have died whilst on the transplant list in the last five years, but 39 in Dorset have received a transplant already this year, thanks to families agreeing to donate a loved one's organs.

Lucy Roberts, an NHS Blood and Transplant Specialist nurse in Organ Donation who covers Dorset County Hospital spoke to Wessex FM. She's urging families to talk about organ donation this Christmas, "What makes it very difficult for them (families) is not knowing their loved ones' wishes prior to death, so we do try to encourage families to talk about it in life. Obviously, we hope that they don't ever have to be in the position to make the decision but we do know that families find it a lot easier when they have discussed it."

Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation, said: “Every year thousands of patients on the waiting list in Dorset 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.

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