Sweethearts urged to send organ donor Valentine's cards

The NHS is calling on people to send organ donor cards to their sweethearts for Valentine's Day.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has joined forces with online greetings card retailer Moonpig to launch a series of Valentine's Day cards which highlight the importance of telling loved ones about a decision to become an organ donor.

The free cards, designed by people affected by organ transplantation, also aim to raise awareness of the 6,400 people in the UK currently waiting for an organ transplant.

The cards all contain a cut-out organ donor card to keep in a wallet, as well as a message telling the recipient they are on the donor register.

One of the cards was designed by former JLS singer JB Gill and his wife Chloe after the son of a family friend received a heart transplant after waiting on the transplant register for a year.

He said: "Nothing brings home the importance of organ donation more than see a loved one go through the agony of waiting for good news.

"We've seen first-hand how the decision to sign up as a donor can save someone's life.

"We're honoured to be able to take part in a campaign that spreads such a vital message on Valentine's Day."

Former JLS singer JB Gill has backed the campaign (NHSBT/Moonpig)
Former JLS singer JB Gill has backed the campaign (NHSBT/Moonpig)

Organ donation does not go ahead without the consent of the donor's family, even if someone has signed up to the register.

NHSBT said that last year 457 people died waiting for a transplant.

Sally Johnson, NHS Blood and Transplant's director of organ donation and transplantation, said: "We so pleased to have Moonpig's support this Valentine's Day because talking to a loved one can save lives.

"We'd love people to send their partners a thought-provoking card and tell them they want to save lives through organ donation.

"A Valentine's Day card can make someone's day and this year it could lead to the most wonderful gift, the gift of life. A few words now can make an extraordinary difference."

The cards are free and delivery costs, 65 pence, will be donated to the charity Transplant Sport. They will be available from February 7 at midday to February 14.