LUNG transplant patient Louisa Winslade has backed a new report which calls for vital action to prevent deaths.
North Bersted resident Louisa said she welcomed the report from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust about how to boost the number of transplants.
The action plan was published on Monday and contains 13 key recommendations to end the current transplant lottery.
They include a national lung allocation scheme and changes to the rules governing which donated organs can be offered for transplantation.
Louisa, 29, of Chichester Road, said: “It is a tragedy that people die on the transplant waiting list if there are ways of overcoming the number of organs that sadly get discarded.
“I wouldn’t have survived if I hadn’t received a transplant when I did.
“I would really like to see more training and technology for re-sizing lungs so that organs can be more widely available, especially for smaller people, like those with cystic fibrosis.
“A change in transplantation rules could help save lives.
“It’s not right that one in three people are still dying waiting for lungs, especially if people have been kind enough to donate them in the first place.”
Louisa spent much time in hospital when she was growing up, suffering from infections.
Her parents, Maureen and Jim, were often told she might die.
Her lungs were on the brink of collapse when she was just 20.
Doctors told her she would die without a double lung transplant.
A year of waiting for a call she feared would never come ended with a donor being found who had similar-sized lungs and the same blood type as Louisa.
Maureen, 61, said: “Somebody died to give her those lungs. All we know is the donor was in her early 30s and lived in east England.”
Since receiving the transplant, Louisa has gone on to complete marathons – as reported – and is looking forward to celebrating her 30th birthday.
But Cystic Fibrosis Trust says only about 20 per cent of donated lungs are used for UK transplants.
It wants a national lung allocation system, new criteria to enable more donated lungs to be used, a standard transplant operation and presumed consent for organ donations.
In 2013, 88 people with cystic fibrosis sought a transplant. Of those, 18 died and 59 still wait.