The final wish of a brave Wigan dad who died from heart transplant complications, is to donate all of his intact organs in a bid to save lives.
Dave Hughes, 32, died peacefully in the arms of his devoted wife Louise, 25, on Tuesday, less than three months after the gruelling surgery.
The Whelley dad, who has a 19-month old son George, made the gut-wrenching decision to have the machinery turned off which was keeping his heart beating after multiple attempts to get his new organ working proved futile.
He died at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital in the specialist heart transplant unit surrounded by family and friends.
Before Dave’s Berlin Heart was shut down, he asked doctors to ensure that any organs fit for use would be given to patients in need.
Amber Hagan, a friend of Dave and Louise who also has a partner in the heart and lung transplant unit, said: “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 fight on. He has inspired so many to sign up to organ donation and even through everything he’s going to continue to help others by leaving the biggest legacy and being a donor himself.”
The couple, who married just six weeks before Dave’s death, campaigned endlessly for awareness of organ donation and the shortage of organs in the NHS pool.
Just over five years ago, Dave - who was born with a rare heart defect - was told that he would only have five years to live if he did not receive a new heart.
It was during this prolonged wait that the couple urged others to sign to the organ donor register so that other families would not have to suffer the fear that they did.
In the nights before his death, Louise stayed in bed with Dave and brought George to say goodbye.
“Even after everything he has been through he wanted to donate his organs to help someone else,” said his grieving wife. “I cannot believe how brave he has been.”
To sign the register click here