Heartfelt joy as organ donation law is changed

The mums of two baby boys born with life threatening heart conditions have welcomed a change in the law over organ donation.

Saturday, 9th March 2019, 11:00 am
Shannon and Grayson Heagren

Baby Benjamin Hardy, from Orton Goldhay was born with hypoplastic left half syndrome, and needed a transplant before his second birthday to save his life.

Grayson Heagren, from Park Farm, Peterborough was diagnosed with heart condition dilated cardiomyopathy two months after he was born last year, and spent two months of his life in intensive care in hospital. He is still waiting for a transplant.

Last week the law in England was changed meaning residents now have to opt out if they don’t want to donate organs when they die. The previous law meant people had to opt in and say they wanted to donate.

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Ashley and Benjamin at the hospital in Newcastle

Shannon Heagren, Grayson’s mum said the law change could give her son a chance at a new life. She said: “I’m glad it’s gone to an opt out system, as a mother of a baby waiting for a heart transplant I feel like Grayson now has more of a chance of getting his new heart.

“I don’t think many people would have donated and now as it’s gone to opt out I should like to hope people now realise how important organ donation really is.

“I understand how difficult the organ donation choice is for people, but why not try help someone else? Would you take an organ if you need one?

“They’re either going to get buried with you, or cremated, so why not allow someone else the chance of living a happy life.

“Your organ can be someone’s missing piece.

“The gift of organ donation is the greatest gift of all. Don’t take your organs to Heaven as heaven knows we need them here.”

Ashley Hardy, Ben’s mum, had been campaigning to introduce the opt out system - which has been in place in Wales since 2015, but not in England - since Benjamin was born.

She said she was thrilled with the change in the law.

Last year, while Benjamin was still in hospital in Newcastle following his transplant, she said; “I’ve been here and seen children pass away waiting for a transplant. I didn’t want Benjamin being added to that number.

“People just need to think - what good are these organs when they are buried - they are no good to anyone. They can save a life. It is priceless.”