NEARLY 500 people in Wiltshire are alive due to organ transplants, new figures have shown.

NHS Blood and Transplant said 497 people living in Wiltshire are currently known to be alive thanks to organ transplants.

The NHS’s annual Transplant Activity Report, published on Tuesday, shows the UK-wide number of people alive thanks to transplants has reached the milestone figure of 50,000.

The report states more people are alive due to increased public commitment to donation, as well as improved survival rates.

In Wiltshire the number of people on the Organ Donor Register has increased by 26 per cent over the past five years, from 233,965 to 296,529 people.

Nationally, 36 per cent of the UK’s population is on the register, up six per cent from five years ago. Anyone can sign up as a donor regardless of existing medical conditions and donors could save or transform up to nine people’s lives, the NHS says.

The public support for donation also means more people in Wiltshire are receiving lifesaving and life enhancing transplants.

Last year 58 people in Wiltshire had transplants, compared to 35 five years ago. But in the UK three people still die in need of a transplant every day and there are about 6,400 people waiting for an organ.

Sally Johnson, for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “More people than ever in Wiltshire are committing to organ donation and that is saving more lives than ever. It’s amazing to picture all the people now alive today thanks to organ donation and think of all the families and children who have grown up thanks to donors.

“We’re seeing more and more people committing to donation and the good results of our close work with hospitals. Our specialist nurses in organ donation are now almost always involved in discussions with families over organ donation.

“However there is still a long way to go. Around three people still die a day in need of a transplant. Every one of those people who died could be a mother or a father, a daughter or a son, who might be alive today.

“Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process. We don’t want anyone in Wiltshire to miss the opportunity to save lives through organ donation. Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register. It only takes two minutes.”

Join the NHS Organ Donor Register at