Organs From 13-Year-Old Girl Save 8 Lives

Jemima Layzell, who died of a brain aneurysm, breaks a UK record
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2017 11:52 AM CDT
Organs From 13-Year-Old Girl Save 8 Lives
One girl; eight lives saved.   (Getty Images/ThitareeSarmkasat)

Eight people, including five children, have a 13-year-old organ donor to thank for their lives—and that donor has entered the UK record books. The Guardian reports on Jemima Layzell, who collapsed from a brain aneurysm while helping prep for her mom's birthday party in March 2012. Jemima died four days later, just a couple of weeks after she'd had a discussion with her family about organ donation following a car crash that killed a family friend. "Jemima had never heard of organ donation before and found it a little bit unsettling, but totally understood the importance of it," her mom, Sophy, says. And so when Jemima passed away, her parents made the decision to donate her kidneys to two recipients and her lungs to another; her liver was split and transplanted into two people, and her heart, pancreas, and small intestine were transplanted into three others.

The NHS Blood and Transplant department says it's the largest number of solid organ recipients from a single donor ever recorded in the UK, per the Telegraph. Jemima's family had been unsure about whether to donate her organs, but a TV program on kids waiting for heart transplants—as well as their past conversation with Jemima on organ donation—changed their minds. "Every parent's instinct is to say no, as we are programmed to protect our children," Sophy Layzell says. "It's only with prior knowledge of Jemima's agreement that we were able to say yes." Other ways the Layzells are honoring her: They've set up the Jemima Layzell Trust to promote organ donation, as well as published The Draft, a compilation of her diary entries found after she died. (More uplifting news stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.