MORE than 1,200 people in London are facing Christmas on the waiting list for an organ transplant. They join more than 6,000 across the UK, including 180 children, awaiting a life-saving gift.

Julie Bartlett, 58, has been waiting for a heart transplant for nearly three years, and has been on the urgent list for 300 days.

The mum and grandma, an inpatient at Harefield Hospital, said: “Waiting for the call is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to endure in my life.

“You just can’t explain what it’s like being apart from family and friends, my sausage dogs and my home comforts for so long. 

“It impacts every moment of every day and night, as you constantly and desperately expect the transplant co-ordinator will come bearing news. 

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“A gift of life on Christmas Day - wouldn’t that be the greatest present!

“A transplant would give me my life back. I have so many plans for the future with my family and friends. At the moment, it feels like my life is on ‘pause’.

“I’ve spent the last decade in heart failure and I want to begin a new decade with a new heart and a new life.”

Harefield director of transplantation Andre Simon said: "We frequently see how a person's life can be completely transformed through the gift of organ donation.

“Discussing organ donation with families and loved ones could mean the difference between life and death for someone on the transplant waiting list.”