Leading surgeon calls for more donors6th July 2011
Professor John Wallwork, a leading transplant surgeon, has said people need to think "carefully" about becoming organ donors.
He is retiring after working for over 20 years at the Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire and urged people to "think positively" about donation.
Professor Wallwork carried out the first successful heart-lung transplant in Europe in 1984. He was also a member of the team that performed the first similar operation in the US in 1981.
He set up the Heart-Lung Transplant Programmes at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and at Papworth Hospital.
Professor Wallwork hoped that the programmes would increase survival rates and operations, as well as providing an operation to save the lives of patients who without it would not have survived.
He said people should make sure their families knew about what they wanted to do about organ donation and should think about signing up to the organ donation register.
"There are still organs that we don't get access to, tragically, because people could benefit from those," Professor Wallwork said.
"That, to me, is something that people need to think about because it's a shame if you don't get the opportunity to use a heart, or a set of lungs or kidneys, to help somebody who's either leading a terrible life or might even die from their disease."
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