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Wednesday 24th January 2018

TV star gives gift of sight

26th October 2006

TV host Richard Whiteley has helped restore the eyesight of two people following his death.

The late host of Channel 4’s Countdown, died aged 61 following heart surgery last year.

His partner Kathryn Apanowicz approved the donation of his corneas, saying both she and her partner supported tissue donations. They were successfully used to help two people.

Relatives of patients who die in hospital are now routinely approached to consider tissue donation at Leeds Hospital Trust, as part of efforts to increase donations.

Donations can help many people in different ways. Donated skin is used to help burns victims, bone is used in orthopaedic surgery and tendons play an important role in treating sports injuries. Heart valves can be used to save the lives of patients with heart disease, and donated corneas can restore eyesight.

Julie Wright, from the NHS Blood and Transplant organisation (NHSBT), said the campaign was aimed at raising awareness about the trust's work and to thank people for their support.

Since the team starting working with the trust to approach families directly, tissue donation rates in Leeds have increased by more than six times.

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