Scores of people in Suffolk saved by organ transplants - but more still waiting
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The lives of 46 people in Suffolk were saved by organ transplants last year - but 29 more are currently on the waiting list.
There were also 76 lives saved in Essex after someone died and donated their organs, with 99 people currently waiting for an organ to become available.
During Organ Donation Week, which runs from September 20 to 26, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people in East Anglia to talk to their families about organ donation.
It's estimated that 7,000 people, including 200 children, are currently in need of an organ transplant. Their plight is being highlighted with the release of a new song from the Harmonies of Hope children’s choir, called Invisible.
It is hoped the choir’s song will inspire more people to talk about organ donation.
After a most challenging year for the NHS and people across the world, waiting lists for organs including kidney, heart, liver and lungs are expected to rise.
NHS transplant bosses say that, if more people agreed to donate, more lives would be saved in the region and around the country.,
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They are calling for more families to talk and share their organ donation decision.
Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Every day across the UK there are thousands of patients and their families, waiting for that all important life-saving call.
"Yet, this is often only possible as a result of another family receiving some of the hardest news they might ever have to hear.
“Even though the law around organ donation has changed to an opt out system for adults, it is important people are aware that families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead.
“It is just as important as ever to make your organ donation decision known to your family and friends and leave them certain of what you what to happen in the event of your death.
“We urge all family members of all ages in Suffolk and Essex to take a moment this Organ Donation Week to talk and share your decision.”
Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: “Waiting for an organ match can be a challenging and isolating experience, and I want to applaud Harmonies of Hope for their bravery in sharing such powerful accounts of lifesaving transplants.
“It’s vital we do all we can to ensure no child feels invisible as they wait for a match, particularly those families in underrepresented, ethnic minority communities where donation rates are not high."
For more information, or to register your organ donation decision, visit the NHS website or call 0300 123 23 23. NHS app users can also use the service to record, check or update their organ donation decision.