This choir really is singing from the same sheet as every member has been touched by organ donation in some way and wants to help raise awareness of the vital issue.

Musician and artist James Tottle set up Gifted Organs two years ago to “spread the word and save more lives”.

The 50-year-old, from Bath, Somerset, said: “Every day since I got my new heart in 1997, I wanted to celebrate the second chance I’d been given.”

So with help from friend and award-winning songwriter Julian Kay, he got together a dozen other organ recipients and in 2018 they recorded their first song, Tomorrow.

Word spread and by last September there were 30 members – 15 of whom came to Rockfield Studios, Monmouth, South Wales, to record new tracks Love of Mine and Heart and Soul.

Back row, left to right: Dylan Williams, Stephen Heavyside, Mark Smith, John Mould, Lee Gibson, Julian Kay, Mark Allen, Jane Lynch. Front row, left to right: Helen Jones, Tricia Heavyside, Rachel Gibson, Lewis Macmillan, James Tottle, Pebbles Malone, Faye Connolly

Choirmaster Julian, 53, said: “The opt-out system is coming in.

"But it’s still vital to have that conversation with loved ones before anything happens.”

1 Dylan Williams, 68, from Carmarthen

In 1998, Dylan had a pancreas and kidney transplant after battling Type 1 diabetes.

He gives talks to schools and community groups on donation, saying “every day feels like I’ve won the lottery thanks to the kindness of strangers”.

He said: “I’ve always loved singing, so I jumped at the chance to join Gifted Organs.

"There can’t be a better motivation than to celebrate being alive!”

2 Stephen Heavyside, 62, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

In 2015, Stephen was put on the transplant list with kidney failure.

Wife Tricia, also in the choir, stepped up and despite not being a blood match, a revolutionary “blood-wash” treatment meant he got her organ in April 2018.

He said: “Tricia and I joined in 2018, shortly after our transplant.

"We hadn’t been in a choir before but thought if ever there was a reason to sing, it was this.

"I know how lucky I am for Tricia to have saved my life but also how many aren’t so lucky.

"Hopefully our singing can give them some hope.”

3 Mark Smith, 40, of Harrogate, North Yorks

Mark spent over 25 years trying to control his Type 1 diabetes but by his mid-30s it was starting taking its toll.

Put on the transplant list, in July 2009 he had a kidney and pancreas swap.

Since then, he and his wife have managed to have two children and he gives talks to promote donation.

He said: “It’s a brilliant thing, bringing together people from different parts of the country, all with our own stories but one theme – transplants save lives.

"I hope the songs reach out to lots of people and encourage them to have the conversation with friends and family.”

4 John Mould, 62, of Loughborough, Leicestershire

In 2009, John, the partner of choir member Jane Lynch, was diagnosed with blood cancer myelofibrosis.

He needed a bone marrow transplant and sister Ruth was a match.

The op happened in 2011.

Julian Kay at recording session

He said: “I feel blessed with this second chance.

“There’s a real energy to the choir and that weekend recording those tracks was unforgettable.”

5 Lee Gibson, 42, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

Lee joined with wife Rachel in 2018. She might not be here without her dad stepping up.

He said: “I know how lucky we are to have had Rachel’s dad as a match.

“My life would be so different if that hadn’t happened and getting with the choir and singing seems like the best way to express how grateful I am.”

6 Julian Kay, 53, from Chippenham, Wiltshire

He said: “Since being involved with the Gifted Organs I’ve come to know so many transplant patients and hear their stories.

The choir hopes their song Tomorrow will highlight the need for donors

"As a result, I’ve made my family aware of my wish for my organs to be donated and hope these tracks will inspire thousands to follow suit.”

7 Mark Allen, 48, from Widnes, Cheshire

Mark had a double lung transplant 15 years ago and is now waiting for a new kidney.

He joined the original Gifted Organs, a band project, in 2015 as a keyboard player after meeting James Tottle at the Transplant Games.

He said: “Being in the original band and now the choir has been a privilege to spread the word on organ donation.

“The fact that we’re creating great songs shows what can be done if everyone loves what they’re doing.”

8 Jane Lynch, 65, of Loughborough, Leicestershire

Jane and John have been together 30 years and were in local choirs before joining Gifted Organs last September.

She said: “I thought I might lose John when he was diagnosed. Every day since then feels like a blessing.

"I jump at any chance to sing but the choir is special because everyone there is a survivor.”

9 Helen Presdee-Jones 40, from Cardiff

Helen was hit by renal failure aged 16, having a kidney transplant in 1997 and then again in October last year when the first kidney failed.

She said: “I’m so thankful to my donors and their
families.

"Singing in this choir is a way I can celebrate my second – and third – chance at life.”

10 Tricia Heavyside, 63, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

Two years ago, Tricia saved hubby Stephen by donating a kidney.

She said she had to step up after watching his health deteriorate so rapidly.

She said: “I saved Stephen’s life in what was our ruby wedding year.

"We’re so grateful to those amazing doctors when we really did think it was game over.

"Singing with Stephen after 42 years of marriage is bliss!”

11 Rachel Gibson, 41, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria

In 2012, Rachel got a kidney from her dad after years of renal issues.

The next year she wed and he walked her down the aisle.

She marked her op’s seventh anniversary by singing with Gifted Organs.

She said: “I heard about the choir from Steve and Tricia and love it more than I can describe.

"We share our transplant stories and celebrate life together in a way nobody else could really understand.”

12 Lewis Macmillan, 28, of Brydekirk, Dumfries and Galloway

Lewis was born with a rare kidney condition and took 50 tablets a day.

At 15, he got a kidney from his mum after a revolutionary procedure to change his blood type.

Six years later this failed and he changed blood type again to get a kidney from his father.

He said: “I met Kirsty last August at a kidney awareness weekend, who told me about the choir.

"The next weekend I did the 14-hour round-trip to Swansea to take part and loved it.

“I always loved singing and can’t think of a better way to raise awareness of the human impact of donation.”

13 James Tottle, 50, of Bath, Somerset

James had a heart transplant 22 years ago after suffering cardiomyopathy.

He said: “I don’t know anything about my donor, so this is a big thank you to him or her.

"The Gifted Organs motto is ‘Celebrate the gift of life through music’.

"Raising awareness is something I’m passionate about.”

14 Kirsty Avril Biss, 28, from Brighton

Kirsty has known her whole life she would one day need a kidney op.

On dialysis for three years, she finally got her organ in February last year.

She said: “I’ve performed my whole life – during my dialysis I was in isolation and would record my own songs and videos to help the time pass.

“The choir provides a real sense of community – it’s so hard to find young people who understand what it’s like to have a life-saving transplant.”

15 Faye Connolly, 29, from Deeside in North Wales

Faye got a donor kidney in 2006 after four years on dialysis.

She said: “When I was a child I always thought I was different, that there was something wrong with me.

"Being part of this choir, surrounded by people who have similar journeys, has helped me understand I’m not alone and there’s nothing wrong with me.

"I feel part of something special when I’m singing.”