A Brighouse who has been on the heart transplant list almost seven years has has spoken out in support of a national campaign.
Darren Gibson suffers from a heart muscle disease called cardiomyopathy and his heart is currently beating with the help of a cardiac resynchronisation therapy defibrillator (CRT-D).
In 2013 Darren had an operation to fit a left ventricular assisted device (LVAD) as the pressures between his heart and lungs were too high at the time for a transplant.
He is still waiting for a heart and his time on the waiting list is approaching 2,500 days.
Darren said: “I have gone past that stage where every time the phone rings I answer in hope that it could be the hospital letting me know they have a heart. My family and I have learned to appreciate each and every moment because after seven years of waiting, the reality is this may never happen for me. All we can do is hope and pray.”
New figures show that 72 people from West Yorkshire have died waiting for a transplant in the last five years.
NHS Blood and Transplant is now urging more people to sign up to become an organ donor or tell their families that they want to save lives through organ donation as part of Organ Donation Week (September 3-9).
Gordon Crowe, specialist nurse in organ donation team manager for NHS Blood and Transplant, who covers hospitals in West Yorkshire, said: “It’s tragic that so many people from West Yorkshire have died waiting for a transplant – what is shocking is that many of those lives could have been saved, had more families agreed to donate organs. People are dying every day because some families are not talking about donation.
“We need more families in West Yorkshire to say yes to organ donation, so that more lives can be saved.”
To register to be an organ donor click here.