A WIGAN man whose life was saved by a donor is urging everyone to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Mick Wood, 44, of Higher Ince, would not be alive today if a donor had not agreed for his organs to be used in the event of his death.
Mick was diagnosed with Cryptogenic Liver Disease two years ago and was told he had 12 months to live.
He was put on the transplant list and 14 months later he was given a new liver.
He said: “I was born with a faulty liver and it deteriorated suddenly and I got to the stage where I desperately needed a liver transplant.
“I had developed a yellow tint, was really confused and would black out.
“The bottom of my legs turned black and I lost between 11 and 12 stone. I was totally fatigued and could not walk far.
“I had four days of tests and doctors told me I had 12 months to live.
“I was absolutely devastated. I was in denial and said I didn’t need a transplant, but doctors said if I was not going to help myself there was nothing that could be done.
“So I thought I had nothing to lose and went on the transplant list.
“I went 14 months until I had the transplant. After 12 months I thought that was the end, but the hospital - St James’ in Leeds - never gave up on me.”
As part of National Transplant Week, the father-of-three and grandfather-of-four is now appealing for Wiganers to save a life and sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
He said: “If I had not had the transplant I would have died.
“I am totally in debt to the organ donor’s family - the decision they made was unbelievable and they have given me a second chance.
“I am on the donor list myself. It is a selfless act. We have to be willing to give as well as receive as you never know when you may need a transplant.
“If we can save someone’s life, it is the ultimate gift you can give.
“Giving a donor is not just helping one person, it is helping the family as well.
“My wife, Janice, and I are campaigning for more people to become donors.
“I would prefer people to do it voluntarily and those who have received the organ are always grateful to that person who donated it.”
To find out more how you can become a donor visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.