A family’s tragedy at losing a loved one to a fatal heart attack at just 26 years old has been softened by being able to help another through organ donation.
The Fahey family was shocked by the sudden death of Luke Fahey, a fit and healthy father of two.
He reached his home in Harrowby Lane, Grantham, following a run and collapsed on the driveway.
His wife Sharran, 38, realised he was unwell when a passer-by raced into the house and shouted that her husband was having a seizure.
She said: “I went outside and my husband was foaming at the mouth. The ambulance was so fast in getting there. One guy thought it was just a fit but he was rubbing his chest and gasping for breath, but he was still breathing.
“But then he was blue. And then he was gone.”
Luke was taken to Grantham Hospital where doctors worked on resuscitation. Luke was stablised and taken to Lincoln County Hospital for further treatment.
However, during a week in intensive care, his organs began to fail and the decision was taken to stop life support on April 18.
But one organ, a kidney, was saved and has changed the life of a young man in his twenties who has been on the waiting list for two years.
Sharran said: “I’m so immensely proud of what Luke has done, to give someone else life. It has helped me with my grief.
“Since this happened, people, so many people, have gone on the donor register because of it.”
Friends and family of Luke have taken to Facebook and Twitter to further raise awareness of organ donation. Sharran said she is thankful that Luke signed up to become an organ donor last year when he renewed his driving licence, despite being unsure at the time.
She added: “You find comfort in grieving for a person you’ve lost, knowing what they’ve done and how they’ve left something behind for someone else to have a life.
“I’m absolutely heartbroken that life has ended for Luke but it’s made it into an overwhelming happiness that somebody else was going to get life from it.
“His children will know what he did and his memory will live on through them.”
Sharran hopes to one day hear from the recipient of the kidney so she can get to know him. All she knows now is he is a young man in his twenties. She is able to send a letter and hopes to put pen to paper soon.
Doctors are unable to say what caused the heart attack, only suggesting he might have pushed his body too hard. Two small scars on his heart are the only evidence of an attack.
As well as his wife Sharran, Luke leaves daughters Scarlet-Lily Allen, 7, and Lexie Lou Fahey, 4, and step-children Kyle, 11, and Lauren, 20. His parents were Gillian Nelmes and David Fahey.
Luke has strong ties with Newark but worked for Kwik-Fit in Grantham, and Tanvic Tyres in Wharf Road before that.
He enjoyed working out at the gym and was a keen boxer and footballer.
A familiar face at Oceans gym in Dysart Road, staff there said he was often the first one to arrive, turning up before the doors were even open.
Luke also loved animals. At his funeral in Grantham on Thursday, attended by 168 people, £518 was raised for the RSPCA.
Meanwhile, a fund-raising event in Newark on Sunday, May 25, will raise money for Sharran and the children.