The number of organ transplants carried out in the UK has reached a record high, figures show.
Vincenzo Avanzato spent 13 weeks on an urgent list awaiting an organ. To help pass the time he sang Italian arias daily, even while being wheeled to the operating theatre for his transplant last Christmas.
Family refusal is the biggest obstacle to increasing the number of organs donated on the NHS every year, a health chief said.
Despite a record year for organ transplants, patients are still dying because potential candidates for donation are not registering.
These donations ensured that for the eighth year in succession, the number of people benefiting from an organ transplant increased.
But although we have seen year-on-year increases in activity, the UK can and must do more to save and improve lives through organ donation and transplantation, and family refusal is now our biggest problem.
– Sally Johnson, NHSBT's director of organ donation and transplantation