TWENTY-NINE people in Dorset have died due to the shortage of organ donations in the last five years, according to NHS Blood and Transplant.

New figures released to mark the launch of National Transplant Week, reveal there are 105 people across the county waiting for a transplant.

The aim of this year’s campaign is to encourage families to discuss organ donation with their loved ones and to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Among those backing the campaign are 21-year-old Kate Hennessey from Wimborne and her mother Gail Stewart.

Kate had a second chance thanks to a lung transplant.

Gail says: “When Kate was given very little chance of getting a lung transplant, we were faced with her imminent death.

“The rest of her organs were functioning okay. It would have given us great comfort to think that out of our own personal tragedy, some happiness was given to another family.”

But Gail says she understands why some families say no to donation.

“They are in shock themselves, dealing with grief and chaos. It is very hard to think of the needs of others at such an awful time.

“We are well aware that our joy has only come about at a time of great sadness for another family.

“I really hope that they take some comfort from the fact that their decision has saved so many other lives.”

Three people die every day...

On average, three people a day die in need of an organ transplant in the UK.

Four out of ten families do not give permission to donate.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Last year 27 people living in Dorset benefited from a life-saving organ transplant thanks to families making the decision to donate when a loved one died.”

To register visit Follow NHS Blood and Transplant on Twitter @NHSOrganDonor Also support them on Facebook and remember to #spellitout.