THE devastated father of an 18-year-old Leeds student who gave the gift of life to others after dying in a road collision has backed a call for more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Statistics released today show that 1,891 people in West Yorkshire are living because of organ donations.
According to NHS Blood and Transplant’s annual Transplant Activity Report, 278,831 people in Leeds alone are now registered to donate organs compared to 229,304 five years ago.
And 103,445 people are on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Wakefield, up from 80,698 during the same period.
The UK-wide number of people alive thanks to transplants has reached the milestone figure of 50,000, the report says.
Last year, 194 people in West Yorkshire had transplants in comparison to 144 five years ago. Health chiefs are now calling on others to sign up to a list which means their organs can be donated after death.
Kate Whalley died last month after being struck by a car near her home on the A660 Leeds Road in Pool-in-Wharfedale.
She had been due to sit her final A level at Harrogate Grammar School the following day.Kate was carrying an organ donor card and nine of her organs were taken for potential transplants.
Her father Michael, 54, said: “She gave nine organs and so is providing life to other people after her death.
“It is an indication of what a selfless, kind person Kate was that she had the organ donor card with her.”
Mr Whalley said: “Her organs have potentially given life to nine other people. It’s a wonderful, selfless act.”
He added: “It is some comfort but it will never fill the void after the death of my only daughter.”
Mr Whalley said he backed the NHS Blood and Transplant service’s call for more people to sign up to sign up, adding: “If there’s a chance of it increasing the number of donors I back it all the way.”
People can join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTH) encouraged more than 52,600 people to sign up during its first six months. It came in response to the news last year that around 700 people in Yorkshire were waiting for lifesaving transplants.
Notables such as actor Sir Patrick Stewart was one of the people who supported the campaign. Anyone can sign up as a donor on the NHS Organ Donor Register. It should not matter if people have existing medical conditions.
Campaigners say people could save or transform up to nine people’s lives by donating organs when you die, and help even more by donating tissue.