Family Life

13-year-old girl saves eight lives with her organs, and now her mum wants to inspire others

Organ donation is not exactly the kind of topic we want to be discussing over the dinner table.

However, that is something mum-of-two Sophy Layzell wants to change, after her daughter became the first person to save eight lives with her organs. 

Jemima was just 13-years-old when she passed away following a brain aneurysm. 

The family had talked about organ donation just a few weeks previously, after someone they knew died in a car crash.

It was during this conversation that the 13-year-old said she was in favour of donation. 

Sadly, soon after the family spoke about the importance of it, Jemima died. 

And her mum and dad were left with the heartbreaking decision of deciding which organs to donate. 

“Shortly after Jemima died, we watched a programme about children awaiting heart transplants and being fitted with Berlin Hearts in Great Ormond Street Hospital," Sophy told HuffPOst

"It affirmed for us that saying ‘no’ would have been denying eight other people the chance for life, especially over Jemima’s heart, which Harvey had felt uncomfortable about donating at the time." 

Jemima is the only person whose organs were transplanted into eight people, something her parents are incredibly proud of. 

"As a donor family it’s incredible to think of the new branches Jemima’s tree of life has grown."

Sophy is sharing her daughter's story in order to inspire others to talk about organ donation. 

“We feel it’s very important for families to talk about organ donation. Every parent’s instinct is to say ‘no’, as we are programmed to protect our child. It’s only with prior knowledge of Jemima’s agreement that we were able to say ‘yes’.” 

In memory of Jemima, the family set up The Jemima Layzell Trust, a charity which helps young people with brain injuries and promotes organ donation. 

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