Who would be willing to give ultimate gift this year?

Vanessa Feltz

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When Portsmouth and health are mentioned in the same sentence with regards to statistics and tables it is not often good news.

Which is why it is so heartening that we lead the way in one health statistic where it is a direct result of the actions of the people who live here.

Since altruistic organ donation was first allowed in 2007, 31 people in Portsmouth have given altruistic kidneys – and last year city provided the highest number in the whole of the UK.

Donating an organ is a tough decision to make at any time, but to donate one to a stranger takes enormous strength of character.

This is why we applaud the actions of Havant GP Roger Sutton.

He gave a kidney two years ago that has transformed the life of youngster Tom Higgs who had been suffering from a rare and debilitating kidney disease.

The pair have recently met up for the first time after exchanging letters through their transplant co-ordinator.

However, there are dozens of people in this area who are desperately waiting for the phonecall that would change their life – the call to say that an organ has been found for them.

More than 19m people in the UK are already on the organ donor register to allow their organs to be used after their death.

Carrying that card is an important step to take in itself.

And as Sam Dutta, a renal consultant at QA, says: ‘This is one of the most selfless acts a person can do, and we know a person can live a perfectly normal life with one good kidney.’

Here’s hoping that this is one table Portsmouth can stay at the top of for years to come and the people living here prove to be as generous as we know they can be.

National Transplant Week falls in July each year, but that is no reason why it shouldn’t be at the forefront of people’s minds the rest of the year.

Christmas is supposed to be the time of giving, but how many of us are willing to give the ultimate gift?

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