Researchers in the North East are developing new techniques, which could identify dozens more donor hearts for transplants.
Every year 355 people get a transplant. But every day in the UK, 3 people die waiting for one.
Patients at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary put up with gruelling dialysis, waiting for a transplant that could change their lives.
A woman who has been waiting for 12 years for a kidney transplant is finally due to get one after a matching donor agreed to donate their's, but only as long as someone she knew gave a kidney in return.
Karen Williams' husband, Jez Williams, immediately agreed and the operation is due to take place on Monday. If everything is successful it will mean a new life for Karen and another unknown kidney patient. Julia Barthram reports.
A woman from Thirsk in North Yorkshire is finally receiving a kidney transplant after a donor offered their organ on the condition someone she knows give one in return.
Karen Williams' husband, Jez Williams, immediately agreed to donate his kidney. The development brings to an end his wife's 12-year wait.You can find out more about organ donation here.
Karen Williams will receive a new lease of life on Monday when she undergoes a kidney transplant. For 12 years she has been on dialysis, waiting for a suitable donor. Now an unknown donor has stepped forward to donate their kidney. Her husband will also donate a kidney to a stranger in return.
The couple and their two daughters say their thoughts and thanks go out to the unknown donor who is giving Karen a new chance of life.
Jez Williams is donating a kidney to an unknown recipient on Monday so that his wife can receive a kidney in return. Karen Williams has been on dialysis for 12 years after her kidneys failed.
No match has been found for her on the transplant list but now a living donor has offered their kidney. The terms of the donation are that someone has to donate a kidney in return and Karen's husband Jez immediately agreed.
A woman who's been waiting 12 years for a kidney transplant is finally due to get one after a matching donor agreed to donate theirs as long as someone she knew gave a kidney in return.
Karen Williams' husband Jez immediately agreed and the operation is due to take place on monday.
For 12 years Karen has had to have dialysis three times a week in hospital. It's meant she had to give up work and been unable to have a holiday. If everything is successful it'll mean a new life for Karen and another unknown kidney patient.
Paired or pooled kidney donation means a living donor gives their organ in return for someone else donating theirs. In this case an unknown donor has agreed to give their kidney to Karen, Jez will then donate his to another, unrelated, kidney patient.
Earlier in 2013, ITV's From The Heart campaign featured the stories of dozens of transplant patients, to highlight the shortage of organ donors.
The campaign had a huge response, with 6,000 people joining the organ donor register in the North East.
Not all of the stories had happy endings, but two that have had their lives transformed by transplants are 5-year-old Aaron McAleese and teenager Joshua Boyle.
You can see more stories from From the Heart here.
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.
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