The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Organ Donation Week - meet the Yorkshire mum whose husband saved three lives

11 September 2020

This week is Organ Donation Week and Jess is urging people to let their loved ones know what their wishes are.

Jess’s husband Paul - who would have been 36 in August - fought for his life for eight days in Leeds General Infirmary after suffering severe brain damage in a car accident.

When it came to withdrawing treatment and the subject of organ donation came up, Jess said "yes" immediately.

Jess Cooper, with children Archie, seven, and Emilia, three Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Jess, mother to Archie, seven, and Emilia, three, said: "He was a really caring person, who would have done anything for anyone.

Three people benefitted from organs donated by her husband - two women, one in her 30s and the other in her 50s, and a man in his 40s.

She said: “Paul was an amazing daddy, husband, and friend. I always talk about him, It's like he's still here."

Since he died, she and some of his friends did a fundraiser to provide memory boxes for children who lose parents suddenly. She hopes it will help other children, as a "chest of Paul’s things we put together really help not just the children but me also."

She said ward staff on the neuro ICU ward at Leeds General Infirmary "couldn't have done more" for her, letting them peacefully stay with Paul, after life support was withdrawn.

This Thursday she was invited by the sister on the ward to speak to critical care nurses about her experiences and she was able to drop off more of the memory boxes.

Jess said it felt good to be part of raising awareness of all the families whose loved ones had made organ donations so they were not forgotten.

She said: "I find great comfort in knowing that there are people out there today alive because of my husband and feel so proud of him.

"If there is one thing you can do after reading this is please tell your loved ones whether you would like to be an organ donor or not!"

Read the full story on the Yorkshire Post website