A MOTHER who survived a rare disease thanks to a transplant, has called for more people to donate organs, rather than give presents this Christmas.

In July 2004, Clair Hemmington, 45, from Roth Drive, Hutton, was diagnosed with Lymphangioleiomyomatosis, known as Lam, a very rare lung disease which causes excessive tissue growth and prevents lungs functioning properly.

Within a year, Mrs Hemmington, who has a daughter Lucy, seven, had to have oxygen 24-hours-a-day and to rely on a wheelchair.

The disease only affects women. She was saved following a lung transplant in February 2008.

Mrs Hemmington believes more people should sign up to the donor card scheme, as it is quick and easy and the reason she is still alive today.

She said: “Having a transplant means I can now live a ‘normal’ life with my husband, daughter, family and friends.

“I can look after my daughter and do all the mummy things I never thought I would be able to do.

“The fact someone gave me this second chance makes it even more special.”

Current figures show only 29 per cent of people in the United Kingdom are members of the Organ Donor Register, while there are more than 10,000 patients in the country who urgently need a transplant.

Emily Thackray, chairman of the organ donation charity Live Life Then Give Life, said: “A lot of people just never get round to signing the Organ Donor Register, but it’s something that could affect any one of us. People need to consider whether they’d accept a transplant for themselves, or for a loved one when thinking about signing up.”

For more information, visit lltgl.org.uk or call 0300 1232323.