Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Plea for organ donors after number of transplant operations falls for first time in more than a decade

  • Transplants fell 5% from 4,655 in 2013 to 4,431 in 2014 
  • 40% of possible transplants don’t happen because it hasn’t been discussed
  • 1,092 made possible by living donors who gave kidney or part of their liver

The number of organ transplants in Britain dropped last year for the first time in more than a decade. Transplants fell from 4,655 in 2013 to 4,431 in 2014, a fall of 5 per cent, and the first drop in 11 years, NHS figures show. The latest statistics show 1,092 were made possible by living donors who gave a kidney or part of their liver. The remaining 3,339 patients benefited from organs donated after death.  Some 40 per cent of possible transplants do not take place because too few people discuss with their families the donation of their organs after they die. As a result, relatives refuse to give consent following their death, NHS bosses say.

Experts want the rules changed so people must opt out of the donor register instead of opting in – an option being adopted in Wales this year. The British Heart Foundation says the whole nation should follow suit.

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The day I met the boy who was given my son’s heart

When John Carter died of a brain tumour, his parents found comfort in the knowledge his heart would save someone else’s life.
But they had no idea whose … until an amazing chance encounter five years later brought them together with the man rescued by the transplant.
The 19-year-old stranger was giving a reading at a memorial service when John’s mother Freda broke down in tears and said: ‘This person’s got my son’s heart.’

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