Back in 2012, thirteen-year-old Jemima Layzell was preparing for her mother’s 38th birthday party when the unthinkable happened.
Jemima had the worse headache she had ever felt and fallen to the ground. She was then rushed to the hospital where she died four days later.
Doctor’s said Jemima had died of a brain aneurysm. Strangely enough, she and her parents had discussed donating her organs after a recent death of a friend in a car crash.
Jemima felt a bit uneasy about donating her organs but felt it was the right thing to do. Her parents agreed and were very proud of their daughter’s gesture.
“Jemima had never heard of organ donation before and found it a little bit unsettling but totally understood the importance of it.”
Through all their grief, the couple recalled the conversation they had with their daughter and agreed to donate her organs.
“We found the decision to donate Jemima’s organs hard but we both felt it was right and we knew she was in favour of donation.”
Mr. and Mrs. Layzell, from Horton, Somerset, have recently been notified that their daughter had saved a record number of lives with her organ donations.
“Shortly after Jemima died, we watched a programme about children awaiting heart transplants and being fitted with Berlin Hearts in Great Ormond Street Hospital.”
“It affirmed for us that saying ‘no’ would have been denying eight other people the chance for life, especially over Jemima’s heart, which Harvey had felt uncomfortable about donating at the time.”
“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.”
The record breaking discovery was made by NHS Blood and Transplant unit staff members searching for the donor that saved the most lives.
Jemima decision eventually saved a total of five children’s lives as well as three other adults.
Also, her eye tissue restored the eyesight of three other patients.
Data from NHS Blood and Transplant suggests that 14 children died awaiting transplants last year, with a current waiting list of 176 children.