The NHS is urging Bedfordshire families to talk about organ donation with their loved ones.
More people than ever before across the UK donated their organs after their deaths last year, with 15 people in this county giving the gift of life.
However, the Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2018/19, published recently, also stated that over the last five years in Bedfordshire, 21 people died before they received the organs they desperately needed.
An NHS Blood and Transplant spokeswoman said: “From spring 2020, the law around organ and tissue donation in England is changing.
“All adults in England will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to, or are in one of the excluded groups.
“As the families of potential donors will continue to be approached by specialist nurses and asked to support their relative’s decision, it’s important that families know what they would have wanted.”
Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the courageous donors and their families across the country, who helped us to save so many lives last year.
“Organ donation is the only hope for many desperately ill people. We know many families feel a sense of pride and comfort from their decision to let their final act to be saving lives through organ donation.
“No lifesaving transplant would be possible without the generosity of every donor and their families, who give their support and say ‘yes’ to organ donation.
“There are 55 people in Bedfordshire waiting for a transplant now. Their only hope for a new life is that a family in their time of grief will make the wonderful decision to agree to organ donation.
“With the law around organ donation changing in England from next spring, we urge everyone to find out about the choices available to them, make their decision and share it with their family.”
Why wait until spring 2020? Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk