When a 13-year-old dies, it’s always tragic.
That person was simply far too young to be taken and it’s extremely difficult to find any silver lining, especially for family and friends.
But what if that death could create life in some way? What if your dear departed loved one actually managed to set a record by saving 8 people’s lives?
Then, perhaps, the silver lining isn’t so difficult to spot, even if it doesn’t make coping with the death any easier.
Jemima Layzell was described as “lovely, clever, funny, compassionate and creative,” so when she suddenly collapsed at her home in March 2012, her entire family was horror-stricken.
As it turns out, Jemima suffered a sudden brain aneurysm that prematurely ended her life. Obviously, her mother Sophy and the rest of her family were devastated.
Eerily enough, the week before Jemima’s death, her parents had discussed organ donation when a family friend died in a car crash. Said Sophy:
“They were on the register but their organs couldn’t be donated because of the circumstances of their death.”
“Jemima had never heard of organ donation before and found it a little bit unsettling, but totally understood the importance of it.”
So they put Jemima on the organ donation list, which ultimately resulted in the saving of 8 lives after Jemima’s death. That, by the way, is a record according to doctors.
Her heart, small bowel, and pancreas went to three people, two others received her kidneys, her liver was actually split and transplanted into two people, and one other patient got her healthy lungs.
The recipients included five children as well.
Her parents have set up the Jemima Layzell Trust in her memory to help those who survive a brain aneurysm, which can leave victims severely damaged.
As for the organ donation, Jemima’s parents feel it was the best thing they could’ve done, and they’re glad they convinced Jemima to agree to it just before her passing.
“We feel it’s very important for families to talk about organ donation.
Every parent’s instinct is to say no, as we are programmed to protect our child.
It’s only with prior knowledge of Jemima’s agreement that we were able to say yes.”
NHS Blood and Transplant hopes this story will encourage more families to sign up for organ donation, because there’s always a shortage. This shortage costs hundreds of lives every year.
The numbers are disheartening: 457 people died waiting for a transplant last year, and there are currently 6,414 people on the list, including 176 children.
Said NHS representative Anthony Clarkson:
“Every donor is special and Jemima’s unique story shows the extraordinary difference a few words can make.
Hundreds of people are still dying unnecessarily waiting for a transplant because too many families say no to organ donation.
“Please tell your family you want to donate, and if you are unsure, ask yourself; if you needed a transplant would you accept one? If so, shouldn’t you be prepared to donate?”
If you can turn death into life, even if you aren’t intimately acquainted with that other life, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity.
Source: The Guardian