An urgent appeal has been issued to families in Gainsborough and the rest of Lincolnshire after alarming, new figures about people dying while waiting for a transplant.
The statistics reveal that 31 people from the area have died in the last five years because there hasn’t been a suitable organ available for transplant.
So now, people across the county are being asked to support organ donation, which can save lives, and to also tell their families that they want to.
Anthony Clarkson, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It is tragic that so many people from Lincolnshire have died while waiting for a transplant.
“What is shocking is that many of those lives could have been saved had more families agreed to donate organs.
“People are dying every day because some families are not talking about donation. We need more families in Lincolnshire to say yes to organ donation, so that more lives can be saved.”
The appeal marks Organ Donation Week, which runs until Sunday. Last year, 60 people in Lincolnshire had their lives saved by a transplant. But although the number of donors is increasing, and the waiting lists are reducing, there are still 6,000 people across the UK waiting for a lifesaving organ-transplant right now.
Mr Clarkson said it was crucial to spread the message. He added: “We don’t want people to die because of a fatal complacency that because you want to be an organ donor, you presume your loved ones know it.
“Please let your family know your decision and ask them if they want to be donors too. Don’t leave your family guessing what you would have wanted to happen.
“We know that many families feel enormous pride and confort at knowing that their relative went on to save lives through the gift of organ donation.”
Nationally, about three people a day die in need of an organ. Only a small percentage of people die in circumstances where they can donate, so every donor is precious.
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk