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Concern raised over 'soft opt-out' scheme

The 'From the Heart' campaign is also encouraging more of us to talk to our families about organ donation. Statistics prove families are more likely to consent for the organs of a loved one to be donated if they knew their wishes.

If you wish to join the organ donor register you can get further information from the website at www.itv.com/fromtheheart

Support for organ donor campaign

by Wales This Week
Emma Abdullah
Emma Abdullah received a multi organ transplant two years ago Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Organ transplants have been saving lives since the first operation in 1959. Since that pioneering day one problem has not been resolved. The shortage of suitable organs for use in transplant operations.

In Wales there are approximately three hundred people on the waiting list for a transplant at any one time. A shortage of donor organs means that about three people die each month in Wales while waiting for a transplant. Organs that can be donated include hearts, kidneys, livers and lungs.

Signing the Organ Donor Register is something that 75% of Welsh people are apparently in favour of doing, but only 31% have actually signed it.

Closing the gap between those in favour and numbers on the registrer its self has been the focus of many campaigns over the years, including the current ITV 'From the Heart' campaign, and the Welsh Government's 'Heart to Heart' roadshow which encourages people to discuss organ donation.

If more organs were available then the amount of time people would have to spend on the waiting list would be considerably shorter. One person who was lucky enough to receive a multi organ transplant was Emma Abdullah who needed an emergency operation after suffering a blood clot.

"I needed a liver, pancreas, stomach and small bowel transplant. I just never thought that I would become that ill, to be so close to losing my own life at such a young age... I would just say to people to sign the form. I's not just one person your saving, its the whole family"

Emma Abdullah

You can hear more about Emma's story in a special episode of Wales This Week, tonight at 8 on ITV Cymru Wales**

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A life saved through organ donation

Emma's life was transformed by organ donation. On ITV Cymru Wales at 6 o'clock we'll hear her story and explore the different path Wales could take.

The Welsh Government has introduced a bill which would see Wales have a 'soft opt out consent' system - unlike the current system, individuals would have to take their names off the organ donor register.

Ministers believe it will save lives but that idea is not supported by everyone. The head of the Church in Wales says organ donation should be a 'gift' and nobody should be compelled to give.

Hundreds in Wales waiting for an organ transplant

This week ITV is launching a new campaign called 'From the Heart'. The aim is to raise awareness about organ donation but its implications could transform the lives of hundreds of people in Wales.

There are hundreds of Welsh people currently waiting for an organ transplant but there are not enough organs available.

As part of the campaign ITV Cymru Wales will have special reports and programmes exploring and highlighting the shortage of organ donors, its implications and the reasons behind it, focusing on the recipients of donor organs and how lives can be transformed.

  • At any time there are around 300 people on the organ transplant waiting list in Wales.
  • There were only 156 transplants in 2012 and the early part of 2013.
  • 40% of families refuse for organs to be donated from a loved one.

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