Tragic dad’s organs have saved seven lives

Dan Layton and his son Jack
Dan Layton and his son Jack
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The proud mum of tragic Scarborough dad Dan Layton has been presented with an award after his organs went on to save seven people’s lives.

Margaret Layton was given the honour in her son’s name by NHS Blood and Transplant at an awards ceremony in York.

Dan, 27, died just days before Christmas last year following a crash on the A165 while travelling home from spending time with his beloved son Jack, now two.

The tragedy rocked the family to its core, but Margaret said she is glad that something positive has come out of such a heartbreaking situation.

She told The Scarborough News: “It was wonderful for Dan to be recognised in this way. For all the love in the world I’d rather he was here, but what he has done makes me very proud.

“We have to look at it in a positive way. I’d rather seven families be happy than eight be sad.

“Wonderful things have happened for the other families, even though it was a tragedy for us.”

Margaret explained that the family has been kept up to date with organ recipients’ progress, on an anonymous basis, via NHS Blood and Transplant.

She said: “The team has been fantastic - both at the time it happened and now. They let us know how people are doing who have received organs, what age they are and whether they are male or female.

“In May we had a six-month update and the year update will be coming soon. Thankfully every one of them is doing OK.”

The family were touched to find out that one of the recipients was a little girl.

Margaret said: “The award is something nice for us to show Jack when he gets older. We can show him that his dad did a lot of good.”

The family is keen to spread the word about organ donation and encourage people to sign up to the register if they’ve not already done so.

Margaret said: “We’ve always been organ donors and I want to support the organisation in any way that I can.

“When I’m ready I’m going to go out to give talks and tell our story. I’m going to meet someone from the organisation about it in a couple of weeks.”

Margaret was one of 11 people across North Yorkshire who were presented with the Order of St John award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, to honour those who have saved and improved people’s lives through organ donation.

The awards were presented at The Guildhall, York, by the Lord Mayor of York, Ian Gillies.

David James, of the Order of St John, North Yorkshire and Teesside, said “Organ donation can clearly save lives and it is also vitally important to say thank you to the families whose loved ones have already donated their organs to assist others.

“With around three people dying every day due to the shortage of organs, these donors and their families have carried out an inspirational act to help others to live.

“We hope the example they have set will encourage many more to follow in their footsteps and agree to become an organ donor.”

Last year, between April 2013 and March 2014, saw the largest ever number of deceased organ donors as the families of 1,320 people in the UK agreed to donate their loved ones’ organs, leading to thousands of patients’ lives being saved or transformed.

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323 or text SAVE to 62323.