Wigan woman who lost her husband after a heart transplant raises organ donation awareness in memory of little girl

Violet-Grace Youens
Violet-Grace Youens

A Wigan woman who lost her husband after he had a heart transplant is helping to raise awareness of organ donation in memory of a little girl.

Louise Hughes, 25, has been campaigning to increase the number of donor’s in the UK after her husband Dave died just weeks after receiving a new heart.

Dave Hughes with son George

Dave Hughes with son George

The couple, who were married in the days leading up to his death, faced a five-year wait for a new organ, during which time they had a son George, who is now almost three years old.

Since meeting Dave, Louise has campaigned to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and has encouraged those on the donor list to share their wishes with family members.

The Whelley mum has now joined forces with Violet Grace’s Gift, a group which was launched following the death of four-year-old Violet-Grace Youens from St Helens in a hit-and-run incident in March.

Following the tragedy, Violet-Grace went on to save multiple lives through organ donation and it is a cause her family have said is “close to their hearts.”

Louise Hughes with the couple's son George

Louise Hughes with the couple's son George

Last week, the organisation hosted a charity fun day in St Helens, raising money so that they can help other families suffering the loss of a child.

Louise, who is now training to be an organ transplant nurse, attended the event where she spoke about her experiences and encouraged others to sign the register.

During the fun day, she signed 27 people up to become organ donors.

Louise said: “It was so nice to see younger people asking their parents if they could be on the register as they want to save another child like Violet.

“I’m so glad I was able to help and I am hoping to do more events for this amazing charity.

“Many people don’t think about becoming an organ donor until they hear a story or know someone in that position.

“Because somebody said yes to donating their organs and had that conversation with their family, I got to marry the love and my life and Dave got an extra 11 weeks with myself and our son.”