Saving a life through donating organs doesn’t require a cape, but according to transplant survivors, it definitely makes you a hero.

Paul Caine and Daymon Johnstone, both from Workington, underwent vital kidney transplants that saved their lives, and during Organ Donation Week, they want to encourage others to be open about their wishes after death.

Although mid-2020 will see the new ‘opt-out’ law brought into practice, with every UK resident over the age of 18 automatically being registered as an organ donor, family members will still have the final say on what happens to their relative’s body.

And 29-year-old Daymon wants to remind people of this fact, and said: “It’s great that everyone’s going to be an organ donor, but people still need to sit down with family and friends and tell them that’s what they want.

“People need to speak to someone who’s had a transplant. I’ve had so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for my transplant.”

He added: “You really are a hero without a cape if you choose to become an organ donor!”

Paul, who has spent over 30 years encouraging others to sign up, feels the new law “will be the way forward”, and said: “Nobody likes thinking about their demise, so I’m so glad that the law’s changing, and emphasis is now on life.

“People die every day waiting for a transplant, and the more publicity the topic gets, the more comfortable and confident people will be in making a decision about whether or not to become an organ donor.”

Paul has undergone two transplants – one in October 1990, and the second in 1999 – and was “near death’s door” when he received a woman’s kidney that saved his life.

“If I wasn’t forced to stay in bed after the op, I’d have being doing somersaults around the room – my life changed so much so quickly, and it was amazing.

“I went on to meet a girlfriend who then became my wife, and our first child is 27 now. That wonderful woman didn’t realise when she became an organ donor just how much life they created from that simple but unbelievable act.”

He added, encouraging others to do the same: “Being an organ donor is your last act of kindness for someone you’ll never meet, and that’s a truly brilliant thing.”

But it’s not just after death that you can give someone new life, as Paul’s brother, Alan, discovered, donating a kidney to Paul and saving his life.

And 20 years on, they’re both doing well and leading happy, healthy lives.