Baby backs dad's organ donor campaign

A young Wigan mum is in anguish over her fiance's future after a shortage of organ donors has left his life hanging in the balance.

Louise Sedgwick, 24, from Whelley, is appealing for members of the public to sign up as organ donors after her partner, Dave Hughes, 31, was left waiting for a vital heart transplant in a Newcastle hospital, more than 150 miles from her and their 10-month-old son George.

As new parents, the couple now have to spend weeks of painstaking nights apart as Louise cares for George while Dave is treated for an infection in his heart due to a congenital defect known as transposition of the great arteries which resulted in the blood vessels being mixed up from birth.

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At the age of 27 Dave was given only five years to live without a transplant, and Louise said that she is scared that George may have to grow up without his dad.

“He can’t do anything at the moment, said Louise. “He spends a lot of time in bed. He is looking forward to getting to spend more time with George and not people out. The problem is there’s not enough people signed up to be a donor. There are that many people waiting for heart transplants. Some are even worse off than Dave, they are on their last legs- you can wait years for one.”

Louise said that the condition has “taken its toll” on the love of her life even causing him to miss his first Father’s Day. “He keeps getting infections,” added Louise. “I am very worried. He’s gone downhill in just a few months. We have to try and keep going for the baby’s sake. It’s the worry of George’s dad not being there to see him grow up. If people could just take five minutes to sign up, they could pass on the gift of life. It’s an amazing thing to do. You don’t realise it until you’re in that situation.”

As part of Louise’s appeal, she was keen to advise people signing up to the organ donor register to inform their families of their wishes.

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Despite the personal decision to donate one’s organs after death, families of the deceased still have the right to override their loved ones decision and refuse donation.

Louise said: “Donors need to tell their families as well. You have to make it clear that it is what you want. A lot of people will have signed but their families have gone against their decision.”