THE NHS is desperately appealing for more people to sign up as organ donors to help save lives.
There are 260 people in Hampshire waiting for an organ and 21 people in Portsmouth.
But the number of people on the organ donor register is not high enough to meet demand.
As a result three people in Portsmouth and 17 people in Hampshire have died in the last year and a half waiting for a transplant.
In Portsmouth there are 58,246 people signed up to the register, which is 29 per cent of the population.
In Hampshire, 539,517 people are on the register – about 30 per cent of the population. More donors are desperately needed to increase the chances of matches being found for those in need of transplants.
So today, during National Transplant Week, the public are being urged to join the register.
Sally Johnson, from the NHS Blood and Transplant service, said: ‘This week we are asking everyone to do their bit to reduce the wait for others and join the organ donor register, then share their wishes with their family and friends so that more lives can be saved. It only takes two minutes.’
A donor can donate organs, corneas, bone and tissue such as skin, heart valves and tendons. One donor could help save as many as 50 people.
One woman who knows what it is like to wait for a transplant is Satwinder Kaur, 21, who had a kidney transplant at QA earlier this year.
She said: ‘I know what it’s like when you’re waiting for an organ. Just imagine having to wait for something that your life is depending on.
‘I feel so happy and lucky. I used to be tired all of the time and now I have so much energy, I feel reborn.
‘This National Transplant Week I would urge the public to join the organ donor register.’
To join the donor register visit organdonation.nhs.uk, or call 0800 123 23 23.