The Star Says: Campaign must go on for donations

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The story today of photographer Sammi Sparke once again highlights the importance of organ donation.

A last minute organ donor saved her life as Sammi underwent a successful double lung transplant.

Sammi had been living with Cystic Fibrosis for two decades but six months later she was a completely different person with a new lease of life.

It is a heartwarming story and one that should be replicated more frequently.

Unfortunately there are still major shortages in organ donation which can lead to people not being given the opportunity to have a transplant.

Deciding whether to donate your organs after death is, of course, a very personal decision.

The Star is proud that it has long campaigned on this issue.

Businesses within our region are also proactive when it comes to helping raise awareness of organ donations.

Sheffield-based Westfield Health has supported the British Transplant Games since 2008 and helped set up the ‘Gift for Life’ campaign when the Games were held in the city in 2013.

The campaign led to more than 23,000 additional organ donor registrations across South Yorkshire.

However more can be done.

Earlier this month Westfield Health chairman Graham Moore spelled out the national situation in The Star.

He said: “The shortage of organ donors in the UK is a national tragedy.

“Three people die every day while waiting for a transplant, and around 7,000 people in the UK are estimated to be waiting for a new organ.

“So we must act now to highlight the continuing desperate need for donors.”

Mr Moore is right – as Sammi’s case shows hours and minutes are vital in saving somebody’s life.

There has been debate about whether organ donation should be ‘opt-in’ or ‘opt-out’.

For now it us up to people to opt-in to get their name on the register.

It is difficult to imagine being in a situation where you’re waiting for an organ which will save your life.

But for thousands of people that is their daily routine. Waiting for the phone call that gives you the good news.

If you are inspired by Sammi’s story you can join the organ donor register by visiting www.organdona
tion.nhs.co.uk