New figures show 39 people in Northumberland have died while on the waiting list for an organ transplant over the past 10 years.
NHS Blood and Transplant revealed the tragic number of deaths to mark Organ Donation Week – which started on Monday and runs until Sunday – and is now urging people to tell their families they want to become donors.
Hundreds of life-saving transplants are being missed every year because families don’t know what their relative wanted. Left to make the decision, families often decide it is safer to say no.
In Northumberland, there are currently 32 people waiting for a transplant.
They will only receive that call if people make sure their families know they want to be a donor.
Anthony Clarkson, of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It’s a tragedy that people are dying unnecessarily every year in Northumberland waiting for transplants.
“We know that if everyone who supported donation talked about it and agreed to donate, most of those lives would be saved. This Organ Donation Week, tell your family you want to save lives.
“In Northumberland, there are more than 127,000 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register. However, if you want to be a donor, your family’s support is still needed for donation to go ahead.”
For more information, visit the website tinyurl.com/y85ubvz8