Hope for boy waiting for a heart with Labour MP taking case directly to PM as support grows for Mirror campaign

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Dan Jarvis will highlight Max Johnson's six-month-long wait for a heart on Thursday as we try to boost the number of organ donors

Max Johnson desperately needs a heart transplant but is yet to receive one

Max has waited six months for a new heart and Labour MP Dan Jarvis will put the nine-year-old’s plight to PM Theresa May as Max’s mum Emma and brother Harry, 12, watch from the public gallery.

The Mirror aims to boost the number of organ donors through its Change The Law for Life campaign.

We want the Government to legislate so people are assumed to be donors instead of having to carry a card. MPs debate this on Thursday.

Labour MP Dan Jarvis will take his case to Parliament

Max, 9, has had to have a pump fitted to keep him alive while he waits for a much-needed transplant

Mr Jarvis said of Max: “He is a truly inspiring young boy who deserves every chance. There are 6,400 people across the UK like Max in need of transplants.

“A change in the law will increase the number of potential donors available.”

He added: “I’m supporting the Mirror campaign and will ask the Prime Minister directly if she will change the law to save people like Max.” The brave schoolboy of Winsford, Cheshire, has an enlarged heart. A pump keeps him alive.

He has been six months in Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, waiting for a heart.

“I would say to Mrs May ‘please do this straight away’,” he said.

One person who owes a donor her life is Hannah Whittam

Hannah had a heart and lung transplant 12 years ago

Over the past five years, there has been a 20% rise in yearly transplants, reaching a record 4,753 in 2016/17.

The number of registered donors has hit 23.6 million, up by 4.9 million in five years. More than a third are now on the register. But one in 10 families still refuse to release organs of loved ones on the NHS list - as they have not discussed their wishes in advance.

A serious shortage of donors remains. Some 457 people died last year on the waiting list.

Almost 9,000 have now signed our petition calling for a change in the law, while 1,000 more signed the donor register following our first story on Max.

Last year in Wales the rate of families consenting to a transplant after a loved one died rose from 49% to 59%. Across the UK it was 58% to 62%.

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