An organ donor has been called a hero after saving more than four lives, including newborn babies.
Rosemarie Jameson sadly died at the beginning of this year, but had spoken to her family about her wishes to donate her organs to make a difference.
As part of Organ Donation Week (Monday 20 - Sunday 26 September) her partner, David Runcorn, 54, from Stanford-le-hope, is pleading with the public to take action and have those important conversations with loved ones about organ donation, as the unexpected could happen at any time.
He said: “I know Rosemarie would be proud of the donations as it’s not just one person’s life she has changed, she’s also had an impact on their friends and family – it has a ripple effect. It has helped give us some comfort that she has helped so many other people. More people need to know what a difference organ donation can make.”
Rosemarie had a sudden bleed on the brain. The 45-year-old was rushed to the Cardiothoracic Centre at Basildon Hospital on New Year’s Day after collapsing at work. After a brain scan and numerous tests, Rosemarie sadly passed away four days later.
She was generally fit and healthy, so donating her organs and tissue helped save peoples lives.
Her liver, kidneys and a large area of skin from her back went to three people on the UK Transplant waiting list, while sections of her heart were given to several newborn babies with heart defects.
The couple have a 17-year-old daughter, Sophie, who was proud that her mum was giving back, even after her death.
David said it’s vital that families have conversations about organ donation sooner rather than later, so that when the time comes family members are certain about what you want.
“When the nurses came to talk to me and Sophie shortly after her passing, there was no hesitation on our part.
“We knew deep down that’s what she would have wanted and we’ve also had conversations about organ donation as a family.”
Statistics show nine out of ten families support organ donation going ahead if they knew it was what their loved one wanted.
The focus of this year’s Organ Donation Week, promoted by the NHS Blood and Transplant service, is the Leave Them Certain campaign. It aims to encourage people to talk to their loved ones about organ donation, through highlighting that families are always involved before organ donation goes ahead.
David is backing the campaign and calling for more awareness. He said: “Not enough people know about organ donation. It’s not promoted as much as it should be, especially with the good it can do to people’s lives.”
In their memory, donors at Basildon are given a leaf on a memorial tree dedicated to those that have agreed to help others through organ donation. The tree, which features a leaf bearing Rosemarie’s name, sits outside a ward in the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre.
David said, “It’s a tree of life, and everyone else on it, like Rosemarie, has helped save and touch the lives of so many other people. And as much as we miss her each and every day, and would still love her to be here, we are deeply proud to say that is part of her legacy.”
Click here to find out more about organ donation.