Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that attacks the liver rather than the infection, Kate Jakes understands the importance of organ donation. In the last 5 years, she has received 3 liver transplants, all of which led to failure.
Jakes had her first transplant before she turned 18. Her condition was so severe that she was placed in priority list until she found a match from Ireland, only for the organ to turn necrotic after a few days. She soon received her second transplant. However after 6 months, her body rejected it. After months in the hospital, she received her third.
Now she's waiting for her fourth, but there's a problem. The number of donated organs fell by 5%, the lowest it has been for the last 10 years, according to the latest reports on United Kingdom's organ donations.
Fewer people dying in circumstances where they could donate and no increase in the rate of people signing up to give consent for their organs to be used have been cited as the main reasons behind the 5% drop across the UK.
In Devon, 27 people lost their lives while waiting to find a donor and some 166 patients are now in line for urgent operations. A total of 75 patients waiting for an organ transplant in South Yorkshire have died over the last five years, new figures reveal. It has also emerged that there are 228 people currently waiting for a donor organ in a bid to save their lives.
However, in West Sussex 39 people's lives were saved or improved due to deceased donation last year. The report shows there was 267 patients on the active heart transplant, an increase from the previous year.
For this reason, Jakes has been actively campaigning for registration, raising awareness, and promoting the benefits of organ donations in her Facebook page and blog. She stresses how a donation can help save a life, not only her own.