Sign up to change lives - but talk it through, too

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There are people near you living in hope of a life-changing transplant.

Official figures show that there are 176 people in Herts waiting for a transplant op – and sadly 52 people in the county have died for want of a new organ in the last four years.

NHS Blood and Transplant has released the figures in the hope that it might encourage people to pass on their donation wishes to their loved ones during National Transplant Week, which began on Monday.

This year’s theme is Pass It On, stressing the importance of having a conversation about organ donation as well as joining the NHS Organ Donor Register.

And some familiar faces – including actors David Harewood and Wil Johnson, news anchor Kay Burley, and business model Richard Branson – have backed the campaign by featuring in a series of short, memorable films

To encourage others to get involved, the celebs are showing the public how important and easy it is to do.

While 95 per cent of families agree to donation if a loved one has discussed their wishes and is registered on the Organ Donor Register, this drops to only 46 per cent when donation wishes are not known.

As well as signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, it is vital people let those closest to them know that they want to be an organ donor.

Director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant Sally Johnson said: “Since April, 18 people living in Hertfordshire have benefitted from a life-saving transplant.

“To help more people we need everyone, including the 364,654 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Hertfordshire, to talk to their loved ones about their donation wishes.

“We need a transformation in donor and family consent to organ donation because the UK’s family refusal rate remains one of the highest in Europe.

To add your name to the Organ Donor Register visit www.transplantweek.co.uk, call 0300 123 2323 or text DONATE to 62323.

Watch the promotion videos at www.youtube.com/transplantweek