A FAIRLIE man whose life was turned around after receiving a donor heart says a change in the law will help others like him.

Steve Donaldson, 57, was on the transplant list for nine months following severe heart failure and told of the 'demoralising' wait for a call which would determine whether he lived or died.

Nine years on Steve has become a poster boy for the organ donation scheme as he prepares to cycling for Great Britain at the World Transplant Games this autumn.

Steve says he will never be able to thank his donor enough for giving him a second shot at life - and hailed the change in Scots law that will presume consent for organ donations rather than people needing to opt in.

He said: "I can never thank the person enough for what they did for me and for having that difficult conversation with their family.

"I was given a second chance at life thanks to my hero and this bill will give even more people that chance.

"There can be no better lasting legacy for anyone than to have saved someone's life.

"If the publicity of this bill makes people stop and think about having the conversation with their loved ones then it is worthwhile.

"This bill will give people waiting, and anyone who has to go through what I did, some much needed hope at a time which can be demoralising.

"I don't know who my donor was but all I can do is thank his family for carrying out his wishes. He gave me a second shot at life.

"The thought that he is the reason I am here is in my thoughts every single day, he truly is my hero.

"The change in law is absolutely a move in the right right direction and something which needed to be done.

"It makes the question easier to ask when the time comes.

"When people donate they don't just save one life, they save families."

The Human Tissue (Authorisation) (Scotland) Bill received a majority backing by MSPs following a recent debate in parliament.

Up until now, donors have been required to opt-in in order for their organs to be donated, with many people carrying a donor card. Now, Scotland will move to a system of presuming consent for organ donations.

Steve added: "Hopefully this change will reduce the waiting time.

"I was in last chance saloon. All you can do is wait as they try and get as close a match to your as possible, it can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

"This will give people hope and maybe there will be more organs available.

"I have been all over the world cycling now and competing in places like Finland, Aspin, Italy and Austria. It really shocks people when I say I have had a heart transplant.

"It blows peoples minds what is possible afterwards.

"I now live my life to the full, because now I know what real worries are.

"Hopefully this opt out will allow more people to be like me and get back enjoying life.

"The brutality of it is if there is no organ donors, people will die."