A girl who died at the young age of 18 after an asthma attack, helped save the lives of five others by donating her organs.
Elizabeth Ford had only told her parents a week before the fatal attack that she wanted her organs to be donated if she died and, after she passed away in October last year, her organs helped save five people in need, including an 18-year-old boy who suffered from serious heart problems.
As reported by the Mail Online, Lizzie, from Saxmundham, Suffolk, was diagnosed with severe asthma at 15 and was in and out of hospital for the next three years. It meant she often spoke to her parents, Lorna and David, about her wishes if she passed away, and her father said he couldn’t deny her dying wish.
Speaking to the East Anglian Daily Times, her proud father, David, said:
Lizzie was able to give life for five other people and if they survive and have children she will have helped give life to a lot of people which is a comforting thought for all of us. I think in some ways it is a comfort to have given others a second chance.
I only hope it inspires more people to sign up on the organ donation register and give somebody a chance of life. It is quite humbling to think that there are quite a lot of people alive who wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Lizzie.
We know some of the organs have gone to older people but we know her heart went to a young boy the same age as her and we know he’s doing well. That’s an amazing feeling for us as a family. Every day we think of her and the pain is awful but to know she helped those five people is a blessing.
In recognition of her decision, Lizzie was posthumously awarded The Order of St John award for Organ Donation last week – a prize run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant.
David accepted the award on his daughter’s behalf and added that he now sees the benefits of organ donation, as Lizzie’s heart, kidneys, spleen and liver have given five seriously-ill patients a new shot at life.
He hopes her legacy will help encourage more people to sign up as organ donors, and address the chronic shortage of donors in the UK. You can learn more and join the register here.
Also, Lizzie’s brother-in-law Matthew Ford-Thomas is running the London Marathon in her memory next year to raise money for Asthma UK. You can support him and donate here.