Sign up to give the greatest gift during National Transplant Week

An organ donor card
An organ donor card

People are being urged to spell out their decision to be an organ donor during National Transplant Week.

In Lincolnshire, eight residents have died due to the shortage of organs in the last year and there are currently 147 people in the county waiting for a transplant.

In Rutland, there are seven people waiting for a transplant.

NHS Blood and Transplant has released the figures as part of its annual campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness that the decision to donate a loved one’s organs falls to the family if you die in circumstances where you can donate.

If you’ve already talked about it, your family won’t have the burden of having to guess what you would have wanted at an incredibly difficult time and they are more likely to support your decision to donate.

NHS Blood and Transplant is asking people to spell out their decision to donate by joining the NHS Organ Donor Register and by having a conversation with their family.

Famous faces including Katie Piper, Beth Tweddle, Ruth Langsford and Wil Johnson have all been photographed spelling out their donation wishes to loved ones and are urging the public to do the same.

Actor David Harewood and TV doctors Dr Hilary Jones, Dr Chris Steele and Dr Ellie Cannon have also pledged their support.

Dr Hilary Jones said: “I’d encourage everybody to consider spelling out your donation decision as potentially the greatest gift you can give anybody.”

Director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant Sally Johnson said four out of 10 families don’t give permission to donate when approached.

But she said 48 people in Lincolnshire had a life-saving organ transplant last year.

To register your organ donation decision go to Follow @NHSOrganDonor on Twitter.