The Welsh Assembly has voted for a change in the law to try and save the lives of those who die while they wait for a transplant organ.
As Wales votes on changes to organ donation, ITV News speaks to those for and against the changes.
Vincenzo has been transformed from a patient so sick he could not wash his face to a man who strides confidently with a gleam in his eye.
Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford has argued that a new scheme that assumes consent for organ donation will increase the number of organs available for transplant.
He highlighted the fact that surveys have shown that a majority of Welsh people wish to be a donor.
– Mark Drakeford, health minister for wales
Deemed consent will bring about a cultural shift in the way donation proceeds in Wales.
It will alter the nature of some of the most difficult conversations that any family might face, and it will help to ensure that the wishes of that substantial majority of Welsh citizens who say, in survey after survey, that they would wish to be a donor, are put into practice in those very rare and special circumstances when donation is possible.
A controversial scheme which assumes that consent for organ and tissue donation is already given is expected to get the go-ahead in Wales today.
It is likely to see Wales become the first part of the UK to operate what is described as a "soft opt-out" organ donation system.
The proposed scheme will give three options: a person will be able to register to explicitly opt in to the new organ donation scheme or opt out of it, but where a person fails to express a preference he or she will be deemed to have given consent.
Welsh Assembly members will meet in Cardiff to discuss the proposals later today.
Elisabeth Buggins, the chair of the UK Organ Donation Taskforce, has urged people to discuss their intentions for their organs with loved ones.
She told ITV News presenter James Mates that talking about the issue helps to avoid grief stricken decisions which can burden families at times of death.
A one-year-old baby is recovering from a heart transplant at the Royal Brompton Hospital.
The family of Carina Marcangelo say she is in a critical condition following surgery on Sunday but making steady progress.
Carina had a disease which damages the heart and became the youngest person in Britain to be fitted with a mini-defibrillator.
Carina has cardiomyopathy which damages the heart. She spent her first birthday completely sedated on life support at the Royal Brompton as she awaited a donor organ.
She became the youngest child to be fitted with a mini defibrillator (ICD) in her chest in November at just 9 months old. The device gave her heart a shock if its rhythm worsened.
Carina could only receive a heart from a one-year-old to a small five-year-old. The average waiting time for a heart is around 3 months.
The upturn in organ donors proved to be a lifesaver for singing heart patient Vincenzo Avanzato.
He spent 13 weeks on an urgent list awaiting an organ - knowing every day in hospital could be his last - before receiving the greatest Christmas gift of all.
Craig Boden was told he would not survive without a new liver.
But a new organ preserved his life with his partner and two young daughters.
Up to 1,000 people die every year due to a shortage of organs for transplant, NHS blood and transplant said.
To register to become a donor, visit the NHS website.
You can also join when registering for a driving licence or car tax, applying for a Boots Advantage card, registering with a GP or registering for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
According to the NHS, the increase in donated organs has led to a 30.5 per cent boost in the number of people receiving organ transplants in the last five years.
Since the Organ Donation Taskforce published its recommendations five years ago, new measures have been introduced by NHS Blood and Transplant:
- Employing a network of 250 specialist nurses in organ donation who support families to consider organ donation
- Funding the appointment of a named clinical lead and a Donation Committee in each hospital or Trust across the UK to promote donation, ensuring every potential donor is identified
- Creating specialist organ retrieval teams to facilitate donation whenever and wherever it may happen
- Promoting donation and the need for society and individuals to commit to become organ donors through public awareness campaigns
Dr Paul Murphy, an intensive care consultant in Leeds and NHS Blood and Transplants national lead for organ donation called the 50% increase in donations a "landmark event". He said:
It is testament to the changes we have made at every level in hospitals to deliver this, to the commitment of critical care and emergency department staff to donation, and most of all to the generosity of donors and their families. But we can and must do more, because patients continue to die needlessly waiting for an organ transplant.
The number of people donating organs after death has risen by 50 per cent in the last five years.
Around 3,100 transplants took place within the last 12 months, with more than 1,200 people donating their organs.
The increase has been credited to the hard work and dedication of staff, the NHS said.
In 2008, the Organ Donation Taskforce was established to find ways to get more people to donate, as there had been almost no increase in the number of donated organs over the previous decade.
More needs to be done to raise awareness about organ donation, a survey has found, after it revealed that half of adults do not know how to become a donor.
Fifty per cent of British adults do not know how to sign up to the Organ Donor Register, with nearly 60 per cent admitted they were not signed up to the register.
According to the British Transplant Society, who carried out the survey of 2,000 people, the amount of cash spent on organ donation awareness campaigns is "at its lowest level for four years".
The society called on ministers to do more to raise public awareness, adding that 500 people died while waiting for an organ to become available between 2011 and 2012.