Left in no doubt
Our annual Organ Donation Week campaign took place in September, with a focus on encouraging people to confirm their organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Nine out of ten families agree to support organ donation when they know what their loved one wanted and recording a decision is the clearest way to state what you want to happen.
Hollie Trezise was left in no doubt what her husband, Seb, wanted to happen.
“The specialist nurse, Tracey, informed me that Seb had signed the NHS Organ Donor Register five times over the course of his life!” says Hollie. “I remember thinking back to the times I too had signed the register, it's not really something you do thinking it will ever actually happen.”
Seb was a 33-year-old youth worker from West Sussex. He and Hollie lived in Littlehampton with their spaniel, Freddie.
Born with spina bifida, Seb had been a wheelchair user for most of his life. Despite his disability he lived a busy and healthy life, he was a keen fisherman, competitive athlete and he loved to travel.
Hollie says: “Seb loved his work. He spent much of his career working as an advocate for the rights and inclusion of children and young people with disabilities.
“In June 2018 Seb suffered a seizure and cardiac arrest at home and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Worthing Hospital.
“Tragically the cardiac arrest had caused a catastrophic brain injury. He died two days later.
Seb was such a kind and generous person in life I knew that this is something he would want me to allow on his behalf
“I remember everyone at Worthing Hospital being so kind. Seb was treated with such dignity and respect while he was ventilated – even though he was completely unresponsive, the nurses spoke to him and explained to him what they were doing any time they needed to touch or move him.
“I was asked by Tracey, the Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation, if I would consider donating Seb's organs.
“Seb was such a kind and generous person in life I knew that this is something he would want me to allow on his behalf.”
Seb was able to donate his liver, kidney and both lungs.
Hollie adds, “I later heard that three people had been given a second chance at a healthy life because of Seb’s organ donations.
“Seb's lungs were given to a woman the same age as him.
(Picture: Seb and Hollie with their spaniel, Freddie)
“She had a life-limiting condition which meant she couldn't even leave the house without careful planning and without making sure she had a tank of oxygen with her.
“After her transplant she was able to start to do things like go to a theme park and plan a holiday.
“It wasn't until I heard these stories that I realised what an incredible thing organ donation is.
“Nothing could ever take away the pain of losing Seb but knowing that several people were given a precious chance to live longer and healthier lives because of Seb's decision to be an organ donor does make me happy and proud.”
It only takes two minutes to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and each donor could save up to nine lives, helping even more people through tissue donation as well.