The family of a former Pinderfields Hospital patient have been touched by the efforts staff at the hospital have gone to, to remember him.
Donna and Shaun Howden, the mum and brother of 17 year old Jamie Leonardi, who passed away on the Critical Care Unit at the hospital earlier in the year, visited the ward to see the picture which has been placed in his memory.
“I’m overwhelmed by the efforts that the team on the unit have gone to,” said Donna on seeing the picture for the first time. “They were amazingly supportive and compassionate to all of us whilst Jamie was a patient and have continued to be so. I hope that being able to read my thoughts about Jamie and organ donation will provide some comfort to other visitors sitting in this waiting room.”
Following his death Jamie gave new life and hope to six strangers by donating his organs, something which would not have been possible had he not made his wishes known to his family.
Thanks to Jamie’s gift; a man in his fifties received a kidney and pancreas after two years on the waiting list, a man in his thirties received the other kidney after three years on the waiting list, a lady in her twenties and a little boy both received part of his liver, a man in his sixties received Jamie’s heart and another man in his sixties received a double lung transplant.
The picture of Jamie is one of four which have now been placed on the walls in the Critical Care Unit at Pinderfields.
Helen Buglass, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at the Trust, said: “By placing these pictures and stories on the wall we hope to be able to help people think about the lives that can be, and have been saved through organ donation, and the different journeys CCU patients can go through. It can be a difficult time for families when they have a loved one on the ward and hopefully these stories give a first-hand perspective which can provide some comfort.”
2017/18 was a record year for Organ Donation and Transplantation in the UK as 4039 patients received a life-saving or life-changing solid organ transplant. This success has continued into 2018/19 which has seen a 4% increase in donations on this time last year. The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust facilitated three solid organ donors resulting in five patients receiving a transplant during the time period.
Notes to editors
Donna and her family are paying back the kindness they have received and doing what they can to help others who may find themselves spending time on the Critical Care Unit. They have set up a Just Giving page (www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jamieleonardi) where they are raising funds to create comfort packs - containing essential toiletries – and memory boxes.