A TOP surgeon in Sheffield has urged people to sign up to help save lives and join the national organ donor register.
Badri Shrestha, consultant transplant surgeon at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, is part of a team which carries out 60 kidney transplants a year.
He said: “Organ transplants are so important - they improve survival rates and markedly improve quality of life for patients and their families.”
This week, to mark National Transplant Week, The Star has featured some of the 205 people in South Yorkshire living in limbo as they await an organ donor.
In Sheffield, the regional centre for kidney transplants, a matching donor means the chance to come off dialysis.
Mr Shrestha said: “If we leave patients with organ failure their quality of life is severely compromised.
“Just 25 per cent of people in South Yorkshire are on the donor register - and the family refusal rate for transplants is 45 per cent.
“We need more people to sign up and also discuss their wishes with relatives.
“We should be very thankful to relatives and donors - because of them many people are alive today.”
Specialist organ donation nurse Clare Jones added: “Most people have heard about lives being saved by kidney and bone marrow transplants, but we also use donated tissue.
“Tissue donation is used for burns patients who need skin grafts, corneal transplants to allow people to see again, and we even use human bones in orthopaedics and tendons for sports injuries.”
To join to register call 0300 123 2323 or go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk