‘Amazing’ surge in organ donors

Paul Reynolds (left)
Paul Reynolds (left)

An astonishing 95,588 people in the borough are now on the organ donor register - a 33 per cent increase on five years ago.

Last year alone 25 Wiganers and Leythers had lifesaving or life-improving transplants.

The Wigan Post has also supported the register since the start of 2016 with our ‘Giving The Gift Of Life’ campaign.

Now multiple-medal winning Transplant Games Paul Reynolds is backing our call to reach even more would-be donors over the next 12 months.

The 43-year-old from Goose Green, who won silver at the 2017 games in Malaga last week, said: “I’ve never heard these figures being quoted before and they’re really amazing.

“It’s a fantastic achievement for a borough like Wigan and hopefully we can do even more.”

Paul, who now trains at Wigan Life Centre and Robin Park Leisure Centre, suffered kidney failure in 2011, due to a rare immune system complaint.

But he saw his elder sister Catherine come to his rescue via an organ donation the following year.

He added: “The transplant not only saved my life but through the Transplant Games I’ve been given a whole new lease on it.

“It’s not only the competiton but I’ve made a number of new friends through taking part.”

The percentage increase in would-be organ donors for Wigan outstrips every other borough in Greater Manchester.

The Post’s campaign was launched in January 2016, after cystic fibrosis sufferer Jack Johnstone, then aged nine, underwent a double lung transplant.

A spokesman for NH Blood and Transplant said“More people are alive thanks to transplants because of improving survival rates and increased public commitment to donation.”

An estimated 2,218 people across Greater Manchester are known to be alive thanks to organ transplants.

Last year 244 people in Greater Manchester had transplants, compared to only 169 five years ago.

NHS chiefs say that anyone can sign up as a donor, regardless of age or whether they have an pre-existing medical conditions.

Those interested in signing up can go online to www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323.