Girl Who Donated Organs Helps A Record Eight People


Jemima Layzell, who died from a brain aneurysm, has helped a record eight different people, including five children, through organ donation.

The 13-year-old died in 2012, but donated her heart, pancreas, lungs, kidneys, small bowel and liver.

Jemima’s parents Sophy Layzell, 43, and dad Harvey Layzell, 49, said that their daughter would have been “very proud of her legacy”.

They described her as being clever, compassionate and creative.

According to NHS Blood and Transplant, no other donor had helped as many people.

Jemima collapsed as she helped prepare for her mother’s 38th birthday party. At Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, four days later, she died.

Three different people received her heart, small bowel, and pancreas, while two people received her kidneys.

Her liver was split and transplanted into a further two people, and both of her lungs were transplanted into another patient.

Donators normally result in 2.6 transplants.

Jemima’s parents said that the family had discussed her donating her organs a couple of weeks before her death, after someone they knew died in a crash.

“They were on the register but their organs couldn’t be donated because of the circumstances of their death,” said mum Sophy, who is a drama tutor.

“Jemima had never heard of organ donation before and found it a little bit unsettling but totally understood the importance of it.”

She said that though the family found the decision to donate difficult, they felt it was right.

“Everyone wants their child to be special and unique and this among other things makes us very proud.

“Shortly after Jemima died, we watched a programme about children awaiting heart transplants and being fitted with Berlin Hearts in Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“It affirmed for us that saying ‘no’ would have been denying eight other people the chance for life, especially over Jemima’s heart, which Harvey had felt uncomfortable about donating at the time.”

Jemima’s parents and sister Amelia, 17, now run The Jemima Layzell Trust, which helps young people with brain injuries and promotes organ donation.

NHS Blood and Transplant said hundreds of people died whilst waiting for a transplant.

In 2016, 457 people, 14 of them children, died waiting for a transplant.

Currently there are 6,414 people on the transplant waiting list, including 176 children.

22-year-old Tom Wilson died in a freak accident after he was hit on the head by a hockey stick in 2015.

It is thought his donated organs, as well as skin, bone and tissue, have helped the lives of around 50 people.


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