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Mum’s appeal for more organ donors

By Amy Nickalls

As part of Organ Donation Week, a mother is calling on people to help after a heart transplant extended her daughter’s life by a year.

Jessica Brooks had dilated cardiomyopathy which caused the heart muscle to become stretched and thin.

She died in January aged 18 after a heart transplant just 12 months before.

Jessica in hospital after her operation

Mum Emily Brooks is encouraging people to add their names to the organ donation register.

She said: “If someone hadn’t done that for her she would have died sooner.

“She was so ill and only given days to live. She was pale, breathless and was in hospital and when the consultant said the colour would come back in her cheeks I said ‘no way’.

“But it did and she wanted to go for a jog soon after the operation.

“It made a huge difference and she was able to go back to college and make lots of new friends.

“I would encourage anyone thinking about it to do it and discuss it with your family so you know what their wishes are.”

Emily and Jessica

There are 86,761 people on the register from Medway.

That’s 31% of the population in the towns and last year 13 people in the area received a transplant.

Medway Maritime Hospital is one of the leading trusts for organ donation and retrieval but there is still more that can be done.

To become a donor, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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