Page last updated at 15:35 GMT, Saturday, 3 January 2009

Student's organs save five lives

A Gloucestershire teenager whose dying wish was to donate her organs has given the gift of life to five people, her parents have said.

Vicki Williams, 18, died in September, after developing a blood clot in her neck that moved to her brain.

Her lungs, pancreas, liver and kidneys were transplanted to five patients who are now said to be in full health.

Her parents Alan and Kerry Williams, from Stroud, said they were very proud of their daughter.

Mrs Williams said: "For something good to come from her tragic death is comfort and solace to us at this time.

"We are proud that Vicki has helped someone and hope that others would do the same for us.

"I can still remember conversations I had with Vicki. I know her views were the same as ours. We both felt that to bury or burn organs was a complete waste when they could be used to help others.

"I know if a member of my family desperately needed a transplant, how grateful I would be. It was a final, selfless gesture."

Although we complete around 3,000 transplants a year, there are up to 1,000 people a year who die while waiting for transplants
Sally Homes, Southmead Hospital

Vicki, who was described as a clever and artistic student, was about to start a law course at Exeter University and was hoping to become a solicitor when she was taken ill.

She told her family she wanted her organs to be given to people that needed them and the donations were organised by UK Transplant.

A 30-year-old man received a lung transplant, another man received her pancreas and a 47-year-old woman was given her liver.

A man in his 40s and woman in her 30s each received a kidney.

Vicki's corneas were also donated to two blind patients while her heart valves have been stored for possible use in the future.

Mr Williams added: "I am proud of her. There was no pressure put on us whatsoever.

"It was all done very tastefully and we were kept informed at all stages. Everything was done sympathetically."

Sally Holmes, donor transplant co-ordinator of Southmead Hospital in Bristol, said: "We have 8,000 people waiting on the list in the UK and although we complete around 3,000 transplants a year, there are up to 1,000 people a year who die while waiting for transplants."



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