‘Keith helped three people after his death’ – Portsmouth widow speaks of comfort in knowing ​​​​husband’s eyes and tissue have been donated to others

Keith and Hilary Stainton, from Milton, in Portsmouth

A WIFE has spoken of her pride after the difficult decision to put her husband on the transplant list has helped three lives already.

Hilary Stainton, from Milton, Portsmouth, was overcome with grief when her husband Keith died in June after a cardiac arrest.

The 54-year-old had expressed his wishes to become an organ donor and Hilary respected that when he died.

She is sharing her story after The News asked for people to get in touch as part of last week’s Organ Donation Week.

Hilary said: ‘We knew Keith wasn’t going to make old bones and discussed organ donation at length.

'His wishes were “they can have anything that will recycle if it helps someone else’s quality of life - it won’t worry me, my spirit will have flown”.

‘Sadly, an out-of-hospital, away-from-home cardiac arrest made it impossible to determine how long he’d been without oxygen, so organ donation was not viable.

‘However, the donation service was able to take his eyes and tissue. I was thrilled - this meant he would live on in someone else.’

Tissue from Keith that could not be used for grafting will be used in medical science research, something he wanted to happen.

Hilary added: ‘Recently, I received a letter from the blood and tissue donation service to say that already Keith had helped three people, with potential to help more. 

‘It was a very emotional experience.

‘I felt proud and thrilled that he’s helped others, and lives on in those people in some way, but also the deep feeling of loss again.’

Hilary said she is still trying to cope with the loss of Keith but thanked the support of family and friends.

She also said knowing Keith was helping others made it a little easier.

‘It’s “early days” for me in grief, but I know that with the love, kindness and support of friends and family this will change in time,’ she said.

‘In the meantime, medical science needs our help to progress in helping people live.

‘It’s important to be positive in our attitude to organ donation, and accept that a loved one will live on - differently, in someone else whose life is equally special and deserving.’

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