Sophie's story to help promote organ donation
Sophie’s mum Debbie Marlow, Rennaisha Rogers, Toby Marlow, 15, and Brett Marlow with Sophie’s story board at NGH.
A 19-year-old Northampton girl who tragically died of a blood clot on the brain has helped save the lives of three others through organ donation.
And from today (Friday, March 24), Sophie Rogers’ story will be on display at Northampton General Hospital to help promote the importance of organ donation.
Sophie, who has a four-year-old daughter, Rennaisha, tragically died on August 14, 2020, after having a blood clot to the brain, a rare occurrence for someone so young.
She had been rushed to Northampton General Hospital three days earlier and had been in a coma and on life support. Despite the best efforts of the staff treating her, she was sadly unable to survive.
Her family agreed to organ donation and her liver and kidneys saved the lives of three people, including a teenage girl, a lady in her twenties and a gentleman in his fifties.
Rennaisha, who was only two at the time of Sophie’s death, now lives with her grandmother Debbie Marlow and her husband Brett in Northampton.
Mrs Marlow, who works at GXO Logistics in Northampton, said “As a family we had never really discussed our thoughts about organ donation. Who would? Especially given that Sophie was 19-year-old at the time and thought she was ‘invincible’.
“We received the call to say that Sophie was ill in hospital and had been placed in a coma. As a family we then started to talk about organ donation, and her eldest sister Jessica had mentioned she would wish to donate should anything happen to her, which made us think about what Sophie would have wanted.
“We then received a call from the hospital asking us to go in to talk the doctors. Having been given the terrible update on her prognosis, and the news that the doctors believed she was brainstem dead, we were visited by the organ donation team to talk about the possibility of donating Sophie’s organs.
“To be honest, at first we were just in shock at the devastating thought of losing Sophie, but we also understood that in turn, her loss could mean the difference to others.
“We also thought about her daughter Rennaisha, aged just two at the time, and that it would be nice for her to know that through organ donation her mummy could live on in others as well as through our memories.”
A board with a picture of Sophie, and her story, was unveiled at the entrance to the maternity and paediatric units at Northampton General Hospital today.
The family hope that that it will help others, particularly younger families, to think about the importance of organ donation.
Hayley Timms, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at Northampton General Hospital, said: “Tragedies like Sophie’s can come completely out of the blue and that is why it is never too early to discuss organ donation with your loved ones.
“In that way, if you suddenly die through accident or illness, your family will know your wishes and you may go on to help save other people’s lives.
“By being clear on your wishes you make the process of organ donation easier for all who are involved.
“I would like to thank Sophie’s family not only for agreeing to organ donation during what must have been an unimaginably difficult time, but for sharing their story and saving even more lives in future by encouraging people to discuss their wishes.”
England now has an opt-out system for organ donation, meaning most adults are considered to have no objection to donation unless they have made a decision to opt-out on the Organ Donor Register.
However, families will always be consulted if donation is possible which is why everyone is encouraged to make their wishes known, so that families can honour that decision if the worst happened. You can register your decision to donate today at www.organdonation.nhs.uk.
Posted on Friday 24th March 2023