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Last Updated: Thursday September 10 2009 07:21 GMT

Ricky investigates organ donation

Ricky and George Higginson's family

Watch Ricky's report

George Higginson died after a traffic accident when he was 10.

He'd agreed to be an organ donor, meaning his body parts went to people who needed them after he'd died.

Ricky met George's family to learn more about organ donation.


George loved to play with his two younger brothers, kicking a football around with eight-year-old Henry while always looking out for three-year-old Max.

George was also really passionate about science and anything to do with space. At night he spent hours reading his favourite book about the famous scientist Galileo. Even his teachers at school called him their 'little scientist.'

George and his brothers
George, Henry and Max

But at 10-years-old George's life was tragically cut short when his bike was in a crash with a pick-up truck near his house in Overton, Lancashire.

It left George with serious head injuries and he died the following day at the Royal Children's Hospital in Manchester.

Saving lives

Despite the tragedy, George's sudden death saved the lives of five different people who were seriously ill.

George and Henry
George and Henry

That's because George decided he wanted to donate parts of his body to help others.

He told his parents, Jonathan and Sarah, he wanted to be an organ donor after watching a TV show just weeks before he died.

His kidney, heart and other vital organs were quickly put into other people's bodies to try and make them better.

Special register

Many people are signed up to a special register, allowing their organs to be given to other people once they pass away. These days you can sign up to the register on the internet, but it's not for everyone and it isn't compulsory.

Still, George's parents want to raise awareness about young people becoming donors. They think it's really important that kids speak to their parents about it and talk openly about organ donation.

"The ultimate achievement"

I interviewed George's family who are trying to cope with their sad loss. George's dad, Jonathan, said:

"If he knew he had saved five people's lives that would have been the ultimate achievement for him.

"George wanted to change things for the better and his attitude was 'if you think you can, you can.' He will certainly have changed the lives of those five people and we are very proud of him."

George Higginson

Telescope tribute

In a tribute to George, the family are now raising money to buy the school he used to go to a telescope to keep his memory alive.

Eight-year-old Henry told me he misses watching television with his older brother. He said he's really proud of him and happy that George has given life and hope to others even after he's gone.

Ricky