FEWER people in Kirklees have this year signed up to the organ donor register than in each of the last five years.
Figures provided by the National Blood and Transplant Service show that up to November 12 this year, 4,645 people had signed up to donate their organs – compared to 6,005 in 2011 and 6,850 in 2010.
Even with an anticipated 500 more donors to add to 2012, Kirklees looks set to hit a record low with nearly 1,000 lower donors registering than in previous years.
That news comes despite a major campaign to highlight the need for more donors.
That initiative included dedicating the Huddersfield Town v Bolton Wanderers game at the John Smiths Stadium to the campaign.
On average, three people a day die before they get a transplant because there are not enough organs available.
Research also shows that of those who want to donate their organs and haven’t discussed their wishes with their loved ones, 50% just hadn’t got round to it.
The transplant service’s director of organ donation and transplantation, Sally Johnson, said: “The family refusal rate for organ donation in the UK is one of the highest in Europe at 45% and we know a large part of that is down to people not discussing their wishes with their families.
“We need to work with families to make donors’ wishes a reality. So, when people join the organ donor register they should tell those closest to them so that their wishes don’t come as a surprise at a time of bereavement. This could affect their decision to proceed with organ donation.”
Last month Stella Gee, 35, of Leeds Road, Huddersfield, died from a brain haemorrhage and her family made the decision to donate her organs – saving four lives.
Her heart-broken partner Jeff Ford and Stella’s mum and three brothers chose to donate her organs, as Stella had not expressed wishes.
Jeff, 52, said at the time: “Stella was always helping people and we thought that is what she would have wanted.
“We gave consent for her kidneys, liver, heart and lungs to be donated and we have since heard that they went to four recipients.
“It was a family decision, if one of us hadn’t wanted it, we wouldn’t have done it. I think she would have wanted to help people.”
Meanwhile Kirklees is also below the national average with 26% of registered donors against the national average of 30%.
There are currently more than 10,000 people across the UK who need an organ transplant.
To register on the organ donor list go to: