A SALISBURY woman who received a life-saving transplant has welcomed a new law that will reform the organ donation system in England.

Lucy Ryan launched an online petition in 2015, joining other campaigners across the country, to push for the introduction of an opt out organ and tissue donation system in England.

From spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered potential organ donors, unless they “opt out”. The system is in place in Wales.

Max and Kiera’s law, which has been passed by parliament, is due to be given Royal Assent.

The 25-year-old, who had a heart transplant in 1993, a month before her third birthday, said: “It is brilliant news. It is great it is finally happening.”

“It is really important people still express their wishes,” said Lucy. “If they don’t agree, all it takes is two minutes to opt out.”

Lucy said: “I literally wouldn’t have lived past the age of three if I hadn’t got a transplant. I wouldn’t have gone to school or had any kind of life. It makes me realise how lucky I am.”

She hopes it will continue raising awareness of organ donation as well as making it “easier” for people to become donors, adding: “There will still be people on the list that die waiting [for a transplant]. This will keep raising awareness and keep people talking about it.”

As of February 28, 47,209 people in the Salisbury constituency were registered as organ donors with 11 people on the transplant list. In the UK, 6,059 people are waiting for a transplant and 3,661 have received a transplant since April 2018.

John Forsythe, the medical director of organ donation and transplantation for of NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We very much hope that once this new law comes into force in Spring 2020, we will see similar results to those we have witnessed in Wales – with more people and families agreeing to donation, enabling more lifesaving transplants to take place.

“We will work closely with the government to ensure that the introduction of the new opt-out approach is implemented successfully. Between now and then we will carry out an information campaign to make sure everyone knows about the change in the law, as well as the choice and options available to them, and that effective measures are in place to enable those who do not wish to donate to record their decision and to ensure that this decision is respected.

“Sadly around three people die every day in the UK in need of an organ while more than 1,000 families say no to organ donation every year.

“It remains vital that people continue to have conversations with their family, to remove any uncertainty and offer peace of mind for those who find themselves facing the tragic loss of a loved one.”

To find out more go to organdonation.nhs.uk