MORE and more people in Cheshire have saved lives through deceased organ donation over the past decade.

New figures show that 22 people became lifesaving deceased organ donors over the past year, and tht there has been a 144 per cent increase since 2008.

This rise has helped the UK reach its highest ever number of donors, showing a growth in support. Over the past year, 1,574 saved lives by donating their organs after they passed away.

Despite the increase, there remains an overall shortage of donors and an urgent need for more people to support donation.

Three people die each day waiting for an organ transplant, with 55 people from Cheshire currently on the waiting list – including 20 from east Cheshire and 18 from west.

The NHS is urging people to let their families and friends know whether they want to donate their organs after they die.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the families in Cheshire who have chosen to say ‘yes’ to organ donation.

"Organ donation is the only hope for many desperately ill people.

"We know many families feel a sense of pride and comfort from their decision to save lives through organ donation.

"We want more people to have that opportunity.”

The NHS' annual Transplant Activity Report shows the average age of potential donors as increasing, rising to age 53 in Cheshire during 2017.

Anyone can join the NHS organ donor register – age and medical conditions are not necessarily a barrier.

Still, many over 50s don’t join the register or tell their families they want to donate because they don't think their organs could help other people.

Sally Johnson said: “We need more people aged over 50 in Cheshire to support donation.

“People in older age groups can still save and transform lives through organ and tissue donation.

"Many more lives could be saved by telling their families they want to donate.”