Our organ donation story is a little different to others. We were the family waiting for an organ transplant. We became the family who had to make the heart-breaking decision to donate a loved one’s organs.

My husband Andrew James Turner was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy in 2007. This disease affects the muscles in the heart making it less able to pump blood around the body.  

In May 2018, Andrew’s condition deteriorated. He was given six months to live by Harefield Hospital. He was placed on the heart transplant list and we waited for the call. Andrew’s blood group was very rare and we soon realised the chances of finding a heart could potentially be difficult.

In April 2019 Andrew was admitted to Harefield Hospital with an infection and sadly passed away on the 12th of May 2019, aged 48.

Unbeknown to us, Andrew had recently updated his profile on the organ transplant list. My family met with the organ donor team and were asked whether we would be prepared to donate some of Andrew’s organs, to which I replied, “absolutely not!”

Our son reminded me of our circumstances. We were that family waiting for a healthy organ for our loved one. Andrew could go on to help other people have a great life, he wanted that and we should uphold that decision.

Andrew was a fun, happy, hardworking, and loyal person. We know as a family we made the right choice, but in that moment, it felt very daunting. The paperwork and questions were overwhelming, however the team that dealt with us were amazing, always remembering this was Andrew's wish.

We received three gold love hearts to remind us of the great gift Andrew had given to the recipients. To help them have a healthy and happy life. 

When you’re faced with the death of the person you love the most; your children’s father, the head of a beautiful family, it is a very difficult choice to make. We are so proud that because of Andrew Turner, two transplant patients are leading happy, healthy lives.

To all those having to make this decision, please think before you say “no”. Andrew had updated his profile for a reason, which made me realise this is what Andrew wanted. Have a conversation with your loved ones about your choice to donate organs, it’s so very important.

Andrew Turner you are amazing.

The laws on organ donation have changed to an opt out system. However your loved ones can overturn your choice to donate if they aren't sure what you want. Leave them certain and have that conversation. Find out more about organ donation on the official NHS Organ Donation website.