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Schoolgirl Pleads for More Organ Donors

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6:02am 2nd January 2014

A Newquay schoolgirl has revealed she asked to walk into hospital for a life-saving transplant - in case it was her last walk.

Pirate FM has learnt almost 70 Cornish patients are waiting for organs as we start 2014.

In the last five years - 26 have died.

Fifteen year old Olivia Ball-Hymns was born with chronic liver disease. That meant surgery when she was just nine: "My health just deteriorated rapidly to the point where I wasn't going to school. I was being bullied, so I didn't want to go anywhere. I was very subdued.

"Then, one day in the summer, we were at the beach and my dad got a phone call from the hospital saying, 'It's ready.'

"They asked me, before I went in, if I wanted a wheelchair. I said, 'No, I would rather walk.' If this was going to be my last walk I wanted to do it with pride. I wanted to show people I am strong and I can do stuff.

"Having that has made me the person I am today - appreciating life because I know not everybody gets through that.

"People say, 'I'm only one person.' But my donor saved four people's lives in their death. That's such a legacy to leave."

There are 66 people in Cornwall waiting for a transplant.

Anthony Clarkson, Acting Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "28 people in Cornwall have received a life-saving organ transplant from a deceased donor in the last year. To help save more people we need everyone, including the 205,361 people on the NHS Organ Donor Register in Cornwall, to talk to their loved ones about their donation decision."

Telling your loved ones about your organ donation decision is vital. In a separate piece of research carried out in England, only 31% of families said they would agree to donation going ahead if they are unaware of their loved one's decision to donate.

Fewer than 5,000 people each year die in circumstances where they can donate their organs and some of those have not let their families know of their decision.

You can join the donation register here or by calling 0300 123 23 23.

6:02am 2nd January 2014

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