MORE people from are saving lives through deceased organ donation.

New figures reveal 22 people from Cheshire became lifesaving deceased organ donors over the last year, helping the UK reach its highest ever number of donors.

More and more families are supporting donation.

There has been a 144 per cent increase in donors across the county over the last decade.

NHS Blood and Transplant has released the figures to mark the publication of its annual transplant activity report.

The report reveals there is growing support for organ donation in Cheshire and around the country. Nationally, there was a record number of organ donors, with 1,574 people saving lives through deceased organ donation over the last year.

However the overall shortage of donors remains and there is an urgent need for more people to support donation.

Around three people die a day in need of a donated organ but many people have never told their relatives they want to save lives.

Letting your family know that you want to donate will make it much easier for them to support what you want.

There are still 55 people from Cheshire on the transplant waiting list and a donated organ is the last and only chance of survival.

Nine people from Halton are on the transplant waiting list.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We’re incredibly grateful to all the families in Cheshire who have chosen to say ‘yes’ to organ donation.

"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 save lives through organ donation. We want more people to have that opportunity.”

The annual report demonstrates how the ageing population means the average age of potential donors is increasing.

The average age of donors in Cheshire during the 2017 calendar year was 53.

Anyone can join the NHS organ donor register, age and medical conditions are not necessarily a barrier to donation.

However many over 50s don’t enrol or tell their families they want to donate because they don't think their organs could help other people.

Sally Johnson added: “We need more people aged over 50 in Cheshire to support donation.

“People in older age groups can still save and transform lives through organ and tissue donation. Many more lives could be saved by telling their families they want to donate.”

Tell your family you want to save lives through organ donation and visit to join the NHS organ donor register.