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Donor liver 'like a win on Lotto' for Denholme woman
2:00pm Friday 28th December 2012 in News
A Denholme woman has received a dream Christmas gift – a new liver.
Emily Whitaker, of Hillcrest Road, underwent an eight-hour liver transplant operation on December 2, 13 months after doctors initially suggested it.
The teetotal 64-year-old’s long wait came to an end at St James’s Hospital in Leeds and now she is in the process of recovering.
Her husband Brian, 66, said: “If everything works out, bingo, it will be like winning the lottery.”
He is urging more donors to come forward and help people who are in similar situations to his wife.
“I think everyone on the planet should be a donor,” said Mr Whitaker. “The bits you have are no use to you when you are not here.
“Realistically, when a person dies, if they are willing to donate all their organs, they could be saving seven or eight people.”
His plea coincides with revelations by health chiefs that more than 120 adults and children in the district are awaiting life-saving transplant operations.
Dr Paul Cramp, who is clinical donation champion for the Yorkshire and Humber region and intensive care consultant at Bradford Royal Infirmary, said: “One organ donor has the potential to save seven lives, which is an incredible gift.
“I would urge people throughout the region to sit down and talk about organ donation with their families and loved ones, so that your wishes are clear.
“A lot of people in Bradford have already made their wishes known by signing up to the Organ Donor Register which anyone can do in only a couple of minutes online.”
Dr Cramp heads an organ donation committee at the Bradford Hospitals Foundation Trust which was set up in 2010 to try to increase awareness of transplantation and to boost the number of donors.
Before 2010 only seven donations had been made since 2005 – a donation rate which averaged little more than one per year.
The situation has improved, but there is still a desperate need for donors.
While 98 per cent of the population nationally say they would take an organ if they needed one, only 28 per cent are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
To add your name to the register, phone 0300 123 0000, text ORGAN to 64118 or visit organ donation.nhs.uk or facebook.com/organ donationuk.