A MUM whose nine-year-old son died after waiting 18 months for a new kidney has urged people to join the organ donor register.
Lucy Spaull, of Crane Avenue, Isleworth, lost her son Oliver Faulkner in October last year.
The youngster, who attended Worple Primary School, was born with a range of medical problems, including having only one working kidney.
At the age of five doctors were forced to remove his remaining kidney, meaning he had to spend four hours a day hooked up to a dialysis machine.
His condition continued to decline and he was listed for a kidney transplant in March 2008.
He spent the last 18 months of his life in hospital, undergoing a number of painful procedures, before dying of kidney failure.
Ms Spaull said: "You always expect when your child's sick you'll be able to help, but it turned out we were the wrong blood group. If Oliver had got a kidney in time he'd still be here today.
"I continue to fight for organ donation so other families don't have to go through the grief we are going through.
"Oliver was an inspiration to everyone. He was a happy, beautiful, jolly little boy. He was a fighter but he just couldn't hold on anymore."
The gap between organ supply and demand is growing and 1,000 people are expected to die this year because a donor could not be found.
Just over a quarter of the UK's population is signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register, which enables their organs to be used after their death.
Emily Thackray, chairman of the transplant charity Live Life Then Give Life said: "Three people like Oliver die waiting for a transplant every single day.
"Even though most of us support the concept of organ donation, only 28 per cent have actually signed the register.
"It's something a lot of us don't really think about, even though any one of us could need a transplant at some point.
"I hope that people who have been moved by Oliver's story take action and sign up today."
Sign up to the organ donor register online at www.uktransplant.org.uk or by phoning 0300 123 23 23.
To find out more about organ donation and how you can support Live Life Then Give Life