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Teen’s Organ Donations Helps Record-Breaking Number Of People

Photo from the Layzell family

A teenager from Somerset in England left a lasting legacy upon her death, saving a record-breaking number of people.

Thirteen-year-old Jemima Layzell died of a brain aneurysm in 2012, and opted to donate her heart, pancreas, lungs, kidneys, small bowel and liver to eight different people, five of whom were children, USA Today reports. Her liver was split and transplanted to two people, while two more received her kidneys.

She decided to give her organs a week before she passed, according to The Jemima Layzell Trust. Jemima collapsed during preparation for her mother’s 38th birthday, and was taken to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, where she died four days later. The trust was founded in 2013 by her family and friends to help children who are suffering from brain injuries or trauma.

Jemima’s mother, Sophy Layzell, and her father, Harvey Layzell, said they knew their daughter would be a donor because she had talked to them about it before her death, after someone they knew perished in a car crash and could not donate organs, the BBC reports.

A normal donation results in 2.6 transplants, on average. Eight is highly unusual. Stephen Bailey, Corporate Communications Manager Stephen Bailey with NHS Blood and Transplant in the United Kingdom, said,

In the UK, no-one else has ever enabled eight or more solid organ transplants into eight different recipients.

Sophy said, “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.” She went on to add, “Jemima was lovely — clever, funny, compassionate and creative — and we feel sure she would be very proud of her legacy.”

According to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing, a total of 604 dead donors between 1988 and 2016 have donated hearts, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, livers and intestines. Livers can be divided into two and counted as two organs. There was no information on how many people received the organs, but a report shows that organ transplants jumped by 8.5% since 2012.

 

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