A LIFESAVING gift is on the Christmas list of 239 people in West Yorkshire this year.

These are people facing Christmas on the waiting list for an organ transplant. They join more than 6,000 people across the UK, including over 180 children, awaiting a life-saving gift.

Families in West Yorkshire are being urged to share their organ donation decision this festive season so that their loved ones know what they want when they die and more patients can receive the transplants they need.

Sophie Schofield, 39, from Leeds, has had kidney problems since she was a child. She had a transplant aged 13, which failed, followed by a second kidney aged 16, which lasted five years until Sophie fell seriously ill with pneumonia. A third transplant at 21 lasted ten years but sadly Sophie ended up back on dialysis in 2012, waiting for another kidney.

The mum to Brandon, aged12 and Jessica, aged 10, said: “I have been a patient for a very long time, however this is the longest time I have been on treatment and waiting, it’s been eight years now.

“If or when I receive the gift of life it’s something I honestly can’t describe in words. The least I could say is my life would start again, I could be the mother I want to be, travel and even just have the energy to do normal daily things like housework. The smallest things mean so much when you can’t do them.

“Thinking of my donor is also something extremely hard to put into words, it truly is the gift of life. Which is why I think it’s so important for people to see just how incredible being a donor is. At such a devastating time losing a loved one, knowing the true life changing impact they can have on up to nine lives can bring incredible comfort and peace.”

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We are urging everyone in West Yorkshire to take a moment to think about the people who will spend their Christmas hoping for just one thing; a life saving organ transplant.

“Would you like to help if you could? If you needed a transplant, would you want someone to donate to you? Please let your family know what your organ donation decision is so that we can save more lives.”

Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk for information.