THE mother of a child who died while waiting three months for a new heart has urged people to discuss the topic of organ donating with loved ones.

Aoife O’Sullivan of Leigh died at the age of four while waiting for a heart transplant.

The toddler suffered heart failure from restrictive cardiomyopathy – a condition which made her heart muscle rigid.

In December 2015 the devastated family were told Aoife would need a transplant but over the next three months the tot’s condition deteriorated and she died in March last year.

Despite their loss, Aoife’s parents chose to donate her kidneys.

Michelle O’Sullivan and Neil Forsyth, from Leigh, have backed the NHS Blood and Transplant campaign to encourage people to talk about their wishes surrounding donation.

Ms O’Sullivan said: “Neil and I take comfort from that fact Aoife has given somebody more time with their loved ones. We feel very proud of Aoife.

“I would say to people “put yourself in the shoes of someone waiting for a transplant”.

“If you are willing to accept an organ donation, it is only right that you should be willing to donate the special gift of life to another family.”

The transplant campaign believes a reluctance to talk about the issue is contributing to a deadly shortage of organs transplant campaigners have said.

Patients in desperate need of a new organ missed out on more than 450 potential transplants last year because families were unsure of their relatives’ wishes and refused to donate.

An NHS study shows three families a week are saying no to organ donation.

It found when families are left to make such a decision on their loved one’s behalf, some decide it is safer to say no.

The organisation has encouraged people to talk to family members during Organ Donation Week, from September 4 to 10.

Last year, 457 people died while on the active transplant waiting list and a further 875 people were removed from the list, mainly due to ill health . Many will have died shortly after being removed from that list.

On August 25 there were 6,414 people in need of a new organ on the transplant waiting list.

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of organ donation for NHS Blood and Transport, said: “It’s a tragedy, hundreds of people are dying unnecessarily every year waiting for transplants.

“We know that if everyone who supported donation talked about it and agreed to donate, most of those lives would be saved.

“This Organ Donation Week tell your family you want to save lives. A few words now can make an extraordinary difference. It will also make things much easier for your family to make the right decision.

“If you want to save lives, don’t leave it too late to talk to your family. “