Tributes pour in after devastating death of "one in a million" Wigan heart transplant dad

Dave Hughes with son George
Dave Hughes with son George

Hundreds of emotional tributes have poured in for a “courageous” “funny” and “heroic” Wigan dad who died peacefully yesterday in his wife’s arms.

Dave Hughes, 32, died less than three months after a heart transplant after suffering numerous complications.

Dave, Louise and George Hughes

Dave, Louise and George Hughes

His family, including 19-month-old son George and his wife Louise, 25, were able to say goodbye to Dave before his Berlin Heart was switched off.

Related article: Heroic dad Dave loses final battle

The valiant dad’s story has touched hundreds of people across the UK who have used social media to pay their respects to Dave and voice their support for his young family.

Christine Gaskell said: “Gone too soon. You’ve gained your angel wings and are now at peace. You fought until the end sweetheart and we are all so very proud of you.

“Your smile was infectious it melts my heart. You have been so brave throughout your life and took everything with a pinch of salt but that was just you.

“Nothing fazed you and you just got on with it. You are a truly inspirational person and a legend.”

The Whelley dad-of-one had met people across the country due to his numerous stays at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Amber Hagan, a friend who the couple met in the heart transplant unit where her partner is also a patient, wrote: “We can’t put into words how devastated we are that Dave, who has fought so hard after receiving his heart transplant, needed to stop and rest forever today.

“Dave will remain in our thoughts forever and he will continue to inspire Aaron to fight on.”

The popular Wiganer’s death has sent shockwaves across the community, inspiring people to sign the donor register.

Dave’s best friend Kristen Varty posted an emotional farewell to him, saying: “Well today has been one of the hardest days ever, saying goodbye to my bestest friend.

“I am so glad you walked into my life all them years ago and we have had a blast pal. I promise I will keep my word to you, thank you for all my amazing memories of you.

“I will do my best to look after your beautiful, strong wife and our gorgeous George, till we meet again pal. Love you always.”

To sign the organ donor register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk