Grieving mother's desperate plea for people to sign organ donor register

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A woman who donated a kidney after her daughter died in need of a transplant today urged the public to sign the organ donor register.

Pat Carroll, 65, gave her organ away to a man being treated in the same unit as her daughter Natalie had been.

She had been unable to donate her kidney to her daughter as Natalie also needed a pancreas at the same time.

Natalie died aged 38 in 2014. 

Her organs had been damaged by Type 1 diabetes. She was on the waiting list but later withdrawn because she became too ill to benefit from a transplant. 

She was able to donate her own heart valves, which helped saved the life of an eight-month-old girl.

Organ donor: People have been urged to join the register

Mrs Carroll, a retired retail worker from Thurrock in Essex, donated her kidney to Joe Carmona, 22, at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital in November.

She said: “Before Natalie died I promised her I’d finish the journey we both started by donating. Knowing I donated in her memory helped me to cope with my grief. 

“When I met Joe he looked desperately ill like Natalie had. I knew what he and his mum Linda had experienced. Since the transplant he looks like a different man — it’s been amazing to watch his transformation. 

“We will always stay in touch and we’re planning a party to mark a year since the transplant.” 

Mr Carmona said: “I feel good, and I feel as if I have got my life back.

“It is just great and I am so grateful to Pat.”

By March this year, a total of 202,230 people in Lambeth and Southwark had signed the register, an increase of almost 53,000 in five years. 

Mrs Carroll is going to Parliament next week to raise awareness of organ donation as part of Organ Donation Week, which begins on Monday.

She said: “It’s frustrating that more people don’t agree to donate. 

“After I lost Natalie I started to raise awareness and found a lot of people don’t want to talk about it and were ignorant about the reality, just thinking the organs would be there if they ever needed them.”

Marlies Ostermann, clinical lead in organ donation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital, said: “Around 6,400 people in the UK are currently waiting for a transplant and on average three people die every day in need of a transplant. 

“It’s crucial for people who want to donate to tell their families. We need their consent for donation to go ahead, even if they have signed the organ donor register.”

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