A young girl who died of a brain aneurysm was able to save eight different people by donating her organs – a new UK record.
Jemima Layzell was just 13 when she collapsed at her mother Sophy’s 38th birthday party.
She died four days later, however a chance conversation between Jemima and her mother a few weeks before the youngster’s death meant Sophy knew her daughter would have wanted to donate her organs.
Sophy said: ‘The conversation was prompted by the death of someone we knew in a crash. 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.
‘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.’
Jemima’s family, who live in Somerset, were recently told by NHS Blood and Transplant that her organs were used to save eight different people across the UK, including five children.
Her small bowels, heart, pancreas and liver (which was split into two to help two seperate people) were used, along with both lungs and both kidneys.
Following the amazing news of Jemima managing to help so many people after her death, Sophy says it’s ‘important for families to talk about organ donation’.
She added: ‘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.
‘Jemima was lovely – clever, funny, compassionate and creative – and we feel sure she would be very proud of her legacy.’
According to NHS Blood and Transplant there are currently 6,414 people on the transplant waiting list in the UK, including 176 children.
Last year 457 died while waiting for an organ transplant, 14 of whom were children.