A 27-year-old man who died of a brain haemorrhage has left a huge legacy after his organs were donated and saved six people’s lives.
Lancashire, England born Alex Newlove who worked in accountancy and finance was said to be living his ‘dream life’ in Chicago when according to his mother Judy Coutinho, 59, ‘Alex became ill in January 2020 and had died of a brain haemorrhage when he came home for Christmas.
‘There was no warning. It happened like a bolt out of the blue for us.’
Alex and his mother had not discussed organ donation, but she said that after his death, she knew that it was what he would have wanted.
Alex’s organs were donated to six people including a 16-year-old girl who could celebrate her GCSE results, and a little boy who could enjoy life with his mother.
Judy discovered that Alex had signed the register to donate his organs four times. Since he died and his organs were donated, Judy has spoken to some of those saved by Alex.
The 16-year-old he saved got good GCSE results and was able to go to prom because of her son’s organ donation.
She said that being in touch with them has been heart-warming and made her realise it was always the right thing to do.
Judy said that she has also had a letter from the mother of a little boy who got part of Alex’s liver and the correspondence about how well he is doing has been comforting for her.
There is an NHS campaign which encourages people to talk to family and say with certainty that they want their organs to be donated, which Judy supports.
Judy said that organ donation is an amazing legacy to leave if the unthinkable happens. She added that she did not think she would be in that position and that it helps to know what your loved one wants, in an open conversation.
The campaign comes after a change in the law on organ donation which makes all adults seen as donors unless they opt out or are in an excluded group.
But families are still asked if they want their loved ones’ organs to be donated before it happens.
NHS research has revealed that 80 per cent of people will donate their organs but only 39 per cent have made such wishes clear.