A grieving widow has revealed her late husband’s legacy of organ donation has meant up to four people could be given the gift of sight.
Jackie King says she believes the decision to let nurses at the Royal Preston Hospital use her husband’s eyes means a part of him is living on.
Geoff King, the former boss of Lancashire Constabulary’s mounted branch, passed away nearly three weeks ago in his wife’s arms.
Jackie, from Hutton, near Preston, told the Evening Post it was a difficult decision to make so soon after being bereaved, but that she was thrilled to receive a letter a few days later saying the process had been successful.
Jackie, a retired police office worker, said: “It is a difficult decision to make, particularly about the eyes.
“I had literally just lost my husband when I was approached about organ donation, which was hard, I would say I was asked within 10 minutes. But the nurses do have to act quickly.
“And I would warn people that the process can be quite intrusive with lots of personal questions asked.
“But despite all of this I know I have done the right thing and my friends think it is wonderful that Geoffrey may be able to help people get their sight back.”
Afterwards Jackie was sent a pin brooch from the NHS Blood and Transplant service.
The pin bears the emblem of a forget-me-not and a butterfly to signify new life for the recipient and the fact that Geoff will never be forgotten.
Jackie will be told in a few months’ time brief details on the men or women the donation helps, although they cannot be identified.
She added: “We had discussed organ donation in the past and he joked they wouldn’t want any of him, that everything had dropped off!
“But I want people to know that even if other things can’t be used, the eyes sometimes still can.”
The Bereavement and Donation Team at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals provides a range of support and advice to families at the time of bereavement including supporting families in deciding if organ donation is something their loved one would have wanted.
Last year the team supported more than 240 families whose relatives donated eye tissue.
Helen Bradley, bereavement and donation co-ordinator, said: “Bereaved families find comfort in knowing their loved one has been able to help someone in need through the donation of organs and tissue.
“People who receive organs and tissue are enormously grateful to bereaved families and donors because their lives are completely transformed.”