Families in London are being urged to talk more openly about organ donation, as new figures from the NHS show that 387 people in the area have died waiting for a transplant in the last five years.

This is despite the fact more and more people are supporting donating their loved one’s organs, there is still an urgent need for more people to support donation.

NHS Blood and Transplant is now urging more people in London to tell their families that they want to save lives through organ donation.

Tania Mortimer-Fennell from Ham, Richmond died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage on Mother’s Day 2012 aged just 17.

Tania’s family had talked openly about organ donation as mum Caroline, Senior HR manager, explains: “Tania knew there would be a high chance that she may need a heart transplant after she was born with congenital heart defects meaning that her arteries were reversed, and her heart was on the opposite side of the body.

“She felt that as she would be happy to receive an organ transplant, she was also happy to donate. Be an organ donor was written on her bucket list.”

Tania donated her kidneys, liver and lungs. Her liver went to four-year-old Tara from Limerick, Ireland who had been ill since birth.

Mum Caroline received a letter from Tara’s parents thanking her for giving their daughter a future. The two families agreed to meet up and are now in regular contact with mum Caroline supporting medal-winning Tara in two Transplant Games.

Caroline explains: “As a mother, you are naturally very scared and protective of your child but to know that another family doesn’t have to go through the same grief after losing a loved one waiting for a transplant, that makes donation special and has brought us great comfort."

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Last year, 712 people in London had their lives saved by a transplant. If more people agreed to donate, more lives would be saved in London and around the country.

In London, 59% of families agreed to donate their loved one’s organs for lifesaving transplants last year, compared to a UK average of 66%.

Although the number of donors is increasing, and the waiting lists are reducing, right now there are around 6,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant across the UK.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Rachel Rowson, a Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation Team Manager covering London hospitals for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “It’s tragic that so many people from London 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.