A Grantham woman has put her full support behind a campaign to encourage people to donate their organs after her young husband saved the life of another when his kidney was donated.
Sharran Fahey was devastated when her husband, Luke, died aged just 26 from a heart attack after going out for a run. But there was no hesitation when doctors asked her for her consent to go ahead with the kidney donation.
Only a few months before his death, Luke had signed up to the NHS organ donor register by filling in a form when he bought car insurance. Both his kidneys were donated, but one was not suitable and was used for research instead.
Sharran is supporting NHS Blood and Transplant’s winter campaign to urge more people to put themselves on the organ donor register and help save more lives.
Sharran, 40, said: “Luke had never really thought about it before, but he was filling in the insurance form and thought ‘why not?’.
“When he died I put something on Facebook and a lot of friends joined the organ donor register. You just go on-line and they send the organ donor card to you. You decide which organs you want to donate.”
Luke collapsed in his driveway in Harrowby Lane last year after going for a run. He was taken to Grantham Hospital where doctors worked on resuscitation. He was stabilised and taken to Lincoln County Hospital for further treatment, but during a week in intensive care, his organs began to fail and the decision was taken to stop life support on April 18.
Sharran, who had a daughter with Luke, says she would encourage everybody to put their name on the organ donor register. She said: “I remember thinking how great it was that they should put this in with an insurance form. They should do this with everything. There needs to be more awareness.
“I would like to do an organ donation awareness event in the near future. I want to put it out there. This is something I would recommend to everybody.”
Sharran says she was “devastated” when told there was nothing more doctors could do for Luke. “I went into meltdown,” she said. “Then one of the staff came to talk to me as the next of kin and mentioned he was on the register. My first thought was, ‘yes, let’s get this done’. There was no hesitation.
“The staff were fantastic. I could not fault them. They were so helpful.”
In November, Sharran was presented with The Order of St John award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant. It is presented to the families and loved ones of those who saved and improved people’s lives through organ donation.
According to NHS Blood and Transplant, 82 people in Lincolnshire are waiting for a transplant, 30 have been waiting longer than two years and nine have been waiting longer than five years.
Twenty-eight people died waiting for a transplant in Lincolnshire between April 2011 and November 2015 and 21 people had a transplant in Lincolnshire in 2015 up to November. On November 6, 2015, there were 331,250 people residing in Lincolnshire on the UK organ donor register.
You can join the organ donor register today. Call 0300 123 2323 or go to http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk|www.organdonation.nhs.uk}