MORE than 60 people in Berkshire are facing Christmas on the waiting list for an organ transplant this year.

The 63 people join more than 6,000 across the UK - including more than 180 children - awaiting a life-saving gift.

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Families are being urged to share their organ donation decision this festive season, so that their loved ones know what they want when they die and more patients can receive the transplants they need.

Chloe Smith, 4, from Langley, waited almost three years for a kidney transplant after a wilms tumour meant both her kidneys needed removing.

This year she received a living donation from a relative which has transformed her life.

She is planning to meet Father Christmas for the first time and has asked for a pet.

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Mum, Laura Peart, 38, said: "Christmas was always a challenge as she would often become poorly due to winter bugs and the cold weather.

"I would do her dialysis Christmas eve and Boxing Day and even Christmas day I would be preparing the machine for the day after.

"On her non dialysis days she would be ok for a few hours and then the fatigue and sickness would kick in. Although we enjoyed being together Chloe didn’t show a great amount of interest as all she ever really knew was feeling poorly.

"All our lives have been completely transformed, there isn't the right amount of words available to convey how grateful we are to my amazing cousin and to the NHS.

"To see Chloe now is utterly amazing, her true personality has shone through.

"She is a little girl again and has become more independent and has such an interest in enjoying life.

"We have our daughter back and my son has his sister. We are so grateful. My cousin gave my daughter a kidney but in doing so she also mended my broken heart."

Local Berkshire:

Anthony Clarkson, director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Christmas is an incredibly busy time of year, however away from the rush and bustle of preparing for the holiday it should also be a time for family and thinking of others.

"We are urging everyone in Berkshire to take a moment to think about the people who will spend their Christmas hoping for just one thing: a life saving organ transplant.

"Would you like to help if you could? If you needed a transplant, would you want someone to donate to you?

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"Please let your family know what your organ donation decision is so that we can save more lives.

"Every precious organ donor allows more families to spend special times together."

From spring 2020 in England and Autumn 2020 in Scotland, the law around organ donation is changing.

All adults in Berkshire will be considered as having agreed to donate their own organs when they die unless they record a decision not to donate, known as ‘opt out’, or are in one of groups not covered by the new organ donation law.

Local Berkshire:

This system was introduced in Wales in December 2015 and in Jersey in July this year.

Families will still always be involved in organ donation, so it is vital that they know their relatives' choice.

In the lead up to the change in law, NHS Blood and Transplant is urging families in Berkshire to talk and share their decision.