Published: 00:01, 11 November 2017
A devoted husband who died suddenly has donated his organs in a final selfless act.
Marc Richardson, suffered a fatal stroke at the age of 44, without regaining full consciousness to say goodbye to his loved ones.
His wife, Dawn, said that when Marc got out of bed at home in Pittlesden, Tenterden, on the morning of Sunday, October 22, nothing was out of the ordinary.
“Marc brought me a cup of tea in bed and was his usual self, but shortly after he went downstairs he screamed out my name.
“I charged downstairs and found Marc had collapsed and was being violently sick. He said that his head hurt really badly.”
Dawn called for an ambulance and had an anxious 40-minute wait before medics arrived.
Marc was semi-conscious but all his observations were normal, so it was thought that vertigo was the most likely cause of his slurred speech and sickness.
Repeat tests when he arrived at William Harvey’s A&E department, showed nothing abnormal, and Marc was encouraged to get out of his wheelchair and sit on a waiting room chair.
Within minutes, he had collapsed, falling on Dawn, who rushed to his side.
He was sent for an emergency CT scan, which was inconclusive, but when the scan was repeated it revealed evidence of a catastrophic stroke.
Marc, a self-employed builder, had suffered a posterior circulation ischaemic stroke which is one of the most difficult to diagnose.
While he was in the intensive care unit, Dawn learned that even if Marc was able to come off the ventilator he would be left severely disabled by the stroke.
The couple had been married for 17 years, and Marc was step-dad to Dawn’s three grown-up children and a granddad of four.
Dawn, 52, said that her husband had expressed a wish to donate his organs when he died, and Dawn informed the nursing team of his decision.
Marc did not survive the stroke and passed away on October 26, just days after he had been admitted to hospital.
Four specialist transplant teams from across the country arrived at the William Harvey and were able to take his liver, heart and kidneys for transplant.
Dawn was informed Marc’s heart was a perfect match for a desperately ill patient.
“A nurse came and found me in the hospital to thank me when they had removed Marc’s heart and she had tears in her eyes when she said ‘Marc’s heart is the most, beautiful, amazing, healthy heart’.”
Dawn said that she was more proud of Marc than ever for him choosing to donate his organs.
Paying tribute to her husband she said: “Marc was quite a solitary person but he was very much loved.
“In all the grief there is the most amazing joy that Marc has helped to save other lives.”
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