An Eastbourne mum whose son died in a road accident is urging people to sign the organ donation register and share their wishes with loved ones.
By chance Ali Carter’s son Lee Reynolds had a conversation about organ donation with his sister Georgie weeks before he died. Georgie, then aged 10, had been watching a programme on the issue and asked Lee, who was babysitting her, to take her to find an organ donor card. It was that act that led to his parents deciding Lee’s organs should be donated when he died following a head on collision in March 2000.
During National Transplant Week (July 7 - July 13) the Hampden Park resident shared her story. Referring to the fateful night. She said, “We had been out for the evening together and the only good that came out of it was that Georgie was supposed to be in the car with him but decided to come with me at the last minute.”
The 21-year-old was in intensive care for a week. When Lee was taken out of a medically induced coma he didn’t respond and was declared brain stem dead. The grieving family was later approached by a transplant co-ordinator about Lee’s organs and agreed to them going to others.
Ali said, “We found out that a 53-year-old grandmother received his liver and lived for an extra two years who had only been given weeks to live, two people had their eyesight restored and the gentleman that received his kidney is still alive today.
“It’s not just about going on the website, registering or carrying a card, it’s about discussing your wishes with your family. I could carry a card and be on the website but my next of kin could override my wishes if I died. The crucial point is to discuss it, no-one wants to talk about dying but if you share your wishes then the onus is on the family to follow those wishes. I get a great source of comfort knowing that someone is still alive today because of Lee’s gift.”