Grimsby siblings Hannah and Dean Evison were devastated after a bleed on the brain meant surgeons were unable to save their father, but they’re turning his death into a positive for other families.
The pair decided that, as Dave’s final act, they would donate his organs to save others in desperate need of a transplant.
Hannah and Dean said that their decisions would mean other children will ‘have the joy of spending Father’s Day with their dads this weekend.’
Hannah said: “We know he helped save other middle-aged men and we hope some of them would have been fathers
“We don’t have our dad with us but what he did means that other dads are still here with their children.
“I know if he’d been asked, he wouldn’t have had to think twice about it. He’d have wanted to do it.”
Before his death Dave Evison worked in the oil industry and took early retirement at 55. He had suffered a stroke a few years before but recovered well and was given a clean bill of health.
But, a few weeks before his death he was suffering from headaches. He woke up one morning in July 2016 and started being sick.
His son Dean came over to his house in Grimsby and realised something was wrong. He took his dad to A&E at Diana, Prince of Wales Hospital and was ‘blue lighted’ to neurological experts at Hull Royal Infirmary.
Hannah said: “My brother and I arrived in Hull expecting to be told he was having brain surgery but, instead, the consultant neurosurgeon told us he’d had a massive bleed on the brain and wouldn’t survive, so there was no point in them doing the surgery.”
“It was really soon after we’d been told there was no hope of dad surviving that we were asked about organ donation and our first thought was why were we being asked about this now.
“But it was explained to us that there was a lot to organise and time is a crucial factor.
“Dad wasn’t on the organ donor register but we knew signing the register was just something he wouldn’t have got round to doing. If he had been asked, he would have said yes.”
Their father remained on life support until the recipients of his organs were prepared for surgery and his family had a chance to say goodbye.
He passed away on July 7, 2016.
“In a way, it was the hardest part because we knew we were losing him, but in another way it was nice to be able to spend some time with him,” added Hannah.
The siblings’ decision meant that Dave’s lungs, liver, kidneys and heart tissue could be used to save other lives.
Hannah hopes that by sharing her story other families facing similar situations will agree to organ donation.
“There’s no point in taking your organs with you when you die,” said Hannah. “If you can help someone else when your time has come, why wouldn’t you do that?”
Hannah says Father’s Day is a tough time for her, her brother Dean and her two children eight-year-old Oliver and six-year-old Maisie.
“He was a fantastic grandfather,” she said. “It is hard just now when you see all the cards going up in the shops and my Dad’s not here.
“But we’re really glad we could do this so some good can come from it all.”
You can join the organ donor register by visiting www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-to-donate or by calling 0300 1232323.