A TRAGIC canoeist who died after capsizing in a river on New Year’s Day could save the lives of up to 20 people by donating her organs.
Mum-of-one Kate Stainsby, 41, of Swinton, near Malton, died last week, two days after she became trapped underwater while on a New Year’s Day canoe expedition.
Her partner of 16 years, Paul Simpson, 44, said he feels some comfort in the fact Kate’s death will save lives and hopes to one day explain to their three-year-old daughter Hannah how brave her mother was.
Kate, who had been canoeing since she was a child, was on a trip with fellow members of York Canoe Club when her canoe capsized and she became trapped underwater for 10 minutes.
Her friends, who are all experienced canoeists, battled to free the mum from the water and drag her to the side of Hobdale Beck, near Sedbergh in Cumbria.
Police, ambulance and mountain rescue teams then worked together to pull her from the water.
Kate, a physiotherapy lecturer, was flown by air ambulance to Royal Preston Hospital, where she died two days later.
Devastated partner Paul, an electrical manager, said: “If there’s anything positive to come from this, it is the fact that Kate was able to donate her organs.
“It is something she was passionate about. We both used to carry donor cards, but now it is much easier to register online.
“The organ donation team were fantastic and took a lock of Kate’s hair and did handprints for us. They’ve told me a 40-year-old man has already had her heart and she could help up to 20 different people.
“I’m so grateful to Kate’s friends who were with her when she had the accident and the people that rescued her, if they hadn’t tried to save her she wouldn’t have been able to donate her organs.”