National Transplant Week this year, in UK, is being taken very seriously. The campaign, which was kicked off recently aims to make aware the desperate need of organs, required to save thousands of lives across the UK.
The campaign has been launched to raise organ donors too, not just for the 7,500 people currently on the transplant list, but also for the hundreds more who add their names every month.
AdvertisementIn the UK every year, more than 600 patients have liver transplants with organs from dead donors. Currently, there are around 311 people on the liver transplant waiting list in the UK.
The number of donors is far exceeded by the number of patients desperately waiting for a transplant. According to specialists, around a fifth of these die while waiting. The average patient has to wait for up to a year for a suitable liver to become available.
For those lucky enough to get an organ, the miracle continues. Stephen Lomas, 51, the recipient of the first adult "live donor" liver transplant is making excellent progress. Consultants at St James's Hospital in Leeds carried out the pioneering operation during which Lomas's son David, 20, donated 60 per cent of his healthy liver to his father. The surgeons believe the technique will offer new hope to the 300 or so people on the liver transplant waiting list at any one time.
Cystic fibrosis is another such disorder that can be helped by organ transplants. The first successful heart-lung transplant for cystic fibrosis was performed in 1985. Transplantation is not a magic cure for cystic fibrosis. Although patients have new lungs that won't develop CF, they have to continue taking medication for the rest of the body, which still has it. 74 per cent of lung transplant patients survive one year, and many go on to lead full lives.