More than 700 people are today enjoying the gift of life in Cheshire thanks to organ donation.
The number of people living in Cheshire currently known to be surviving thanks to organ transplants has reached 714.
This figure is revealed by NHS Blood and Transplant, whose annual Transplant Activity Report shows the UK-wide number of transplant recipients remaining alive today has reached the milestone figure of 50,000.
NHS Blood and Transplant is now urging people in Cheshire to help even more people to survive by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.
More people are alive thanks to transplants because of a combination of improving survival rates and increased public commitment to donation.
In Cheshire, the number of people on the Organ Donor Register has increased by 28 per cent over the past five years.
There are now 404,405 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Cheshire, compared to 315,482 five years ago.
This includes 143,446 people committed on the register in Cheshire West and Chester, compared to 112,858 five years ago.
People of any age can sign up as a donor on the NHS Organ Donor Register. Nationally, the number of people on registered reached a record 23.6 million. Today 36 per cent of the UK’s population is on the register, compared to 30 per cent five years ago.
The public support for donation also means more people in Cheshire are receiving lifesaving and life-enhancing transplants.
Last year 71 people in Cheshire had transplants, compared to 55 five years ago.
Despite the record-breaking public commitment to donation, there is still a shortage of organ donors.
Nationally, three people still die a day in need of a transplant. There are still about 6,400 people currently waiting for a transplant. There is a particular need for people to register from black and Asian backgrounds.
Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “More people than ever in Cheshire are committing to organ donation and that is saving more lives than ever.
“It’s amazing to picture all the people now alive today thanks to organ donation and think of all the families and children who have grown up thanks to donors.
“We’re seeing more and more people committing to donation and the good results of our close work with hospitals.
“Our specialist nurses in organ donation are now almost always involved in discussions with families over organ donation.
“However there is still a long way to go.
“About three people still die a day in need of a transplant.
“Every one of those people who died could be a mother or a father, a daughter or a son, who might be alive today.
“Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process.
“We don’t want anyone in Cheshire to miss the opportunity to save lives through organ donation. Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register. It only takes two minutes.”
Joining the register can be done online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk
See full story in the Chester Leader