An inspirational young woman from Westgate-on-Sea who last month received the double lung transplant she had waited four years for has lost her brave fight for life.
Cystic fibrosis sufferer Jessica Wales passed away in hospital yesterday (Tuesday), less than three weeks after a suitable donor was found.
Doctors had been pleased with her progress following an operation on December 28. The 20-year-old was breathing by herself until Saturday (January 9), when her condition deteriorated and she was placed on a ventilator.
Jess, who lived in Linksfield Road, had an incredible past 12 months - the highlight of which was the ‘Save Jess-tival’ organ donor awareness gig in October that was supported by Australian pop superstar Natalie Imbruglia.
Dozens of celebrities, including the Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown, chat show host Jonathan Ross and Formula 1 racing star Rubens Barrichello also backed her struggle to survive on the social networking website Twitter.
Jess had been waiting for a suitable lung transplant since 2005 and had proved herself to be a real fighter by outliving a terrifying initial prognosis of just two years.
As an advocate for the transplant charity Live Life Then Give Life (LLTGL), she tirelessly appealed for people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. An appearance on Noel’s HQ on Sky 1 motivated more than 2,000 people to join the list in a single evening.
Of the 8,000 Britons on transplant lists, three will die every day waiting for a suitable donor, according to LLTGL.
Around a quarter of the UK population will help others after their death by donating organs. To join the Organ Donor Register, visithttp://www.uktransplant.org.uk/or phone 0300 123 2323.