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Double lung transplant mum
backs organ donation campaign

    By Andrea Kirk  

A HORNSEA mum whose life has been saved thanks to organ donation is helping spread awareness during UK Organ Donation Week.
Organ donation statistics compiled in March showed 6,389 people in the UK were waiting for a transplant.
3,711 deceased donor transplants took place from March 2016 to March 2017. Part of the awareness campaign focuses on talking to family about organ donation and ensuring family members are aware you would like your organs donated.
Jane Holmes from Hornsea confesses she was one of these people: “I had ever given any thought to organ donation until 2007 when I, myself, became very ill and it was first suggested to me I may need a double lung transplant to live.”
Jane was a mum of two and was pregnant with twins when she was iagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2007, a condition that the consultants believe was probably underlying but accelerated during her pregnancy.
The condition had a huge impact on Jane’s health leaving her breathless and struggling to walk and although it was expected that Jane’s health would improve following the birth of the twins unfortunately this didn’t happen. Instead her health continued to worsen until she received a double lung transplant in
March 2013.
“It has kept me alive, vastly improved my quality of life and enabled me to be there for my four children,” Jane told the Gazette.
Her donor was 56-year-old Tish Murtha, whose organs also saved other lives. She died on March 13, 2013, of a brain aneurysm, just three days after Mother’s Day. Then her only daughter Ella, 32, visited and found Tish disorientated with a black eye. After rushing her to A and E it was found Tish had had a brain aneurysm. Ella, had no doubt her mum would want to donate her organs to help someone else and Tish ended up donating organs that saved the life offour women, Jane being one of these, and the eyesight of four men.
Jane made contact just over a year ago, with her donor’s daughter Ella. She recalled: “This was not easy to do as they do not encourage this at the clinic, but it
felt perfectly natural to us to be in contact. Also, the lady who received Ella’s mum’s kidney and pancreas is in contact too. We call ourselves ‘Unbiological Sisters’, we’re like extended families. I love hearing stories of Tish, she was a very special lady.”
Ella added: “For me organ donation is the most natural thing in the world, it’s the circle of life, after all death is a part of life, but through organ donation it doesn’t have to be the end.
“There can be happiness after tragedy, sunshine after the rain and new life and friendships can grow.”
Jane is urging people to think about organ donation and said: “Please, if you want to be a donor let your family know. It saves a lot of extra heartache for your family when the time comes, and you’re making the decision for them. Your body is just a vessel your spirit lives on.”
In the county of East Yorkshire as of March 31, there were 31 people on the active transplant list awaiting an organ. The message this Organ Donation Week is: “Would you accept a life-saving organ from a donor?
If you would take an organ, would you be prepared to donate yours to save lives when you die? While most people support organ donation, many people don’t realise that their family’s support is needed for organ donation to go ahead. If you want to save lives, a few words can make an extraordinary difference.”
More information is available at: www.organdonation.nhs.uk

The Holderness Gazette - Serving News to the Holderness Region