Organ donations 'soar' after Lily Partridge rugby death

Lily Partridge Image copyright Irving of Exeter
Image caption The South West organ donor team called the rise in donors the "Lily effect"

The number of organ donors has risen sharply after the death of a rugby player, according to doctors.

Lily Partridge suffered a fatal head injury in a tackle during a training session at North Tawton, Devon, in December.

The South West Organ Donation and Transplant Service said four lives have been saved after receiving organs from the 22-year-old zookeeper.

The NHS team dubbed the rise in registered donors "the Lily effect".

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'Great comfort'

James Paget, from the donor team, said: "In December 2014 and January 2015 we had 469 people sign the register.

"In December 2015 when Lily died and [then when] her funeral was held, we had 1,419 people register.

"That is a significant increase of nearly 1,000 people. We think the majority of those are as a result of Lily."

Miss Partridge, from Exeter, carried two donor cards. Her parents, Jeff and Liz, said they were proud of her legacy, which has also seen thousands of pounds raised for her chosen charities and causes.

"It is a great comfort to all her family after everything that has happened," they added.

According to the NHS website, there are more than 7,000 people on the UK national transplant waiting list.

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