How badly has Covid affected organ transplants in the Midlands?

Rebecca Vanni received a transplant this year.

Despite the strains the pandemic put on the NHS over the last year, 162 people in the West Midlands had their lives saved by an organ transplant, according to a report from NHS Blood and Transplant.

But 348 people are still waiting for a transplant in the region. 

An annual report shows that despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, levels were sustained at 75% of normal deceased donation activity.

However, normal transplant activity across the UK has been around 80%.

Medical experts say it's a testament to the strong foundation of altruism from families, support for donation across the UK and the dedication of clinical teams.

ITV News Central spoke to a woman from Stratford-upon-Avon who felt unwell during her birthday celebrations in July but she had no idea it was liver failure caused by seronegative hepatitis.

Rebecca Vanni received a transplant and soon afterwards returned home to her partner and daughter. 

And with thousands of people across the country still on the waiting list, she told our reporter Charlotte Cross she feels incredibly lucky.

She said: " When they gave me my liver, I decided his name was Sid. He saved various other people with various other transplant donations so he is quite a hero of mine to be fair. And I think of him every day, and his family, and he gave me the greatest gift really. From somebody I'd never met."

Charlotte Cross responds: "So if you could speak to the person who gave you Sid now, what would you say?"

"That's a hard thing to say. Very grateful. And I talk to him every day. He's a hero."

Charlotte Cross reports.

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