Wigan mum's tragic death after transplant gave her 'extra time'
A grieving husband who met his wife six months after she received an organ transplant is urging others to give the gift of life.
Sara Stiller received the kidney and pancreas in 2013, after a virus which affected her pancreas at the age of nine led to her developing diabetes and then kidney failure.
Afterwards, she looked forward to a bright future, met the love of her life David Stiller, tied the knot and became pregnant on the first attempt with IVF.
But sadly Sara’s health problems returned when she contracted a kidney infection late into the pregnancy and her daughter Ellie, now three, was delivered eight weeks early in 2017.
Sara then had problems with her kidney and her pancreas failed in April 2020.
Her kidney function was less than 20 per cent and it completely failed in November, leading to her needing dialysis.
David, who lives in Hindley, said Sara “just dealt with” her illness and had support from her mum when needed.
He took his wife for dialysis last Monday, but she became unwell and was rushed to Wigan Infirmary for treatment.
He received a phone call telling him to go to the hospital and discovered she was seriously ill.
Sara died on Thursday, September 30 after suffering a catastrophic bleed on her brain, aged just 34.
David said: “Her whole life she was happy to help anyone out. She was always there if people needed a chat.
“She had so many friends and there has been an outpouring of messages from them.”
David is heartbroken to lose his wife, but recognises how vital organ donation is.
Sara wanted to give her organs after death, but unfortunately the transplant and her health problems meant it was not possible.
David said: “If she had never had that kidney and pancreas, I would never have met her and we would never have had our daughter. It’s a kind of blessing that she had that second chance in life to have that extra time.”
David said Sara grew up in Lowton, enjoyed being active, liked watching soaps on television and loved animals, with the couple having reptiles as well as three dogs.
And she was delighted to become a mum.
“Her whole life was complete when she had that little girl. She was her entire world,” he said.
Her sudden death at such a young age has come as a massive blow for the family, with David also worrying about how he will cope financially without his wife.
He is making plans to sell the house they shared, as he has spoken to his bank and charities and can find no alternative way to cover his bills.
He says he is hoping for a “miracle” which will allow him to stay in the home and close to his neighbours, rather than moving somewhere else.
David said: “All of our reptiles have to be rehomed too. I just can’t financially cope with the cost of them.”
David works full-time as an assistant general manager for KFC in Manchester and praised his employers for their support, which includes five weeks of compassionate leave, the opportunity to relocate to another store so he does not have to pay for city centre parking, and a bunch of flowers.
A fund-raising appeal has been set up by Sara’s best friend Lisa Berry to help cover the cost of a funeral and support David.
Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/f/raising-money-for-saras-funeral.
A funeral will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, October 13 at All Saints’ Church in Hindley.
Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ to find out about organ donation.
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