A GRANDFATHER granted a new lease of life after a liver transplant is urging people to sign the donor register – and tell their family about their wishes.

Seventy-year-old David Hyde was diagnosed with diabetes and fatty liver disease 20 years ago and suffered almost two decades of steadily worsening, debilitating symptoms before his operation two-and-a-half years ago.

Mr Hyde is now chairman of the Addenbrooke's Liver Transplant Association and is campaigning for more people to join the donor register.

His plea coincides with National Transplant Week (July 9-15) and the Pass it On campaign, organised by NHS Blood and Transplant.

Mr Hyde, of The Lane, Easton, told The Hunts Post: "My transplant has completely put my life back to where it was. Soon after my operation, my wife said 'I have got my husband back'.

"I had 20 years of knowing I would need a transplant. Normally people get a new liver quite soon after being told but I hung on. I got sicker and sicker but didn't really realise it myself. I would fall asleep during meetings, it was really debilitating."

He said it wasn't enough for people to sign the register, they MUST tell their families.

"Families can still say 'no, we don't want to donate, we didn't know they wanted to do that'.

"Please ensure that your relatives know your wishes. That is most important."

Mr Hyde's operation lasted nine hours and he is now on anti-rejection medication for the rest of his life.

He said: "Whether it's kidney, heart, lungs or liver, you are all the same after the transplant. It gives you your life back. I was going doing the rounds of the ward talking to people in for their transplant and one said 'If I hadn't had this operation, I would never have seen my grandchildren.' A transplant is the gift of life."

INFORMATION: To find out more about organ donation, visit www.transplantweek.co.uk.