A Swindon artist has shared the incredible story of his own transplant survival to try and encourage others to sign up as organ donors.

Local Steve Light, 41, also known as SLART, went to the Houses of Parliament last year to discuss organ donation with the UK's leading kidney patient support charity, Kidney Care UK.

The charity invited patients, ministers and policy makers to come together to unite and commit to reduce the number of people waiting for a transplant.

At the time in Wiltshire there were 42 people on the transplant list in need of a kidney transplant.

Steve was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD) when he was 22 when a routine blood test showed that his kidney function was only 30%.

Eventually he needed to go on dialysis for a year but he was fortunate to receive a kidney transplant from an unknown deceased donor in December 2010.

Sadly, his kidney began to fail in 2021 and Steve returned to dialysis before receiving a second transplant in July 2022.

Steve has found art to be a creative outlet that allows him to share what it’s like to live with CKD.

His work mainly revolves around portraiture and figurative art.

As part of the event Steve’s artwork was displayed and more than 50 MPs attended.

Steve commented: “Talking about organ donation can be a tough subject. This is why it’s essential to be discussed at Westminster, to explain from experience about how life changing it is for recipients. I feel that there is a still a bit of a taboo around the topic and the best way to normalise it is to discuss it openly and give people the facts”.

Fiona Loud, policy director at Kidney Care UK, added: “We’re delighted that Steve was able to join us at Westminster to discuss the importance of organ donation. Right now, more than 7,000 people are waiting for a transplant in the UK, the highest in nine years – we need to come together, increase public awareness of need and ensure this number is reduced. Please talk to your family about organ donation.”

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Families will still always be consulted before organ donation goes ahead and we know that 9 out of 10 families will agree to support organ donation if their loved one has confirmed their decision to donate on the register.

"The more people who make their decision known on the NHS Organ Donor Register, the more families will support that decision and the more lives will be saved.”