‘Remember a life by saving a life’

Helping to sign people up as organ donors in Foyleside Shopping Centre are, from left, Charlene McCourt, Danielle Moore, Marie Early, Next, Caitlin Morrison, Laura Davies, Next, Patrice Meehan, Damian O'Hagan, Aileen Mellon and Carly Harkin. (DER4313PG015)

Helping to sign people up as organ donors in Foyleside Shopping Centre are, from left, Charlene McCourt, Danielle Moore, Marie Early, Next, Caitlin Morrison, Laura Davies, Next, Patrice Meehan, Damian O'Hagan, Aileen Mellon and Carly Harkin. (DER4313PG015)

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In a moving testament to the late Di Morrison, several of her friends collected in excess of 500 signatures to the Organ Donor Register on Saturday.

Mum of one Di was just 21 when she passed away from LAMS disease.

Shortly before her death she had undergone a double lung transplant but never recovered.

Saturday marked the fourth anniversary of the her death.

Despite having received a transplant in Newcastle, the delay in finding a suitable donor proved to be too long.

Her friend Aileen Mellon, who helped organise the awareness campaign explained: “Di never recovered. She never came home.

“Di was sick for four years and waited on a transplant for most of that time.

“She had been on the transplant list for years but it just wasn’t enough. There isn’t a day when we don’t think of our friend. The pain of losing her is never far away.”

Aileen added: “Di has a daughter at home who was three years of age when her mammy died.

“Caitlin has been without her mother ever since and it might have been so different had a donor been found earlier.

“That is why signing up to the organ donor register is so important. Sure you’re only leaving it to the worms anyway,” mused Aileen.

“Di never looked ill. She was always very positive and as a result was really loved by everyone she met. Di never knew how sick she was but still appreciated everything she had in her life. Which is good as she was spoilt rotten by her mammy and daddy,” laughed Aileen.

Aileen said the impact Di’s death had on their circle of friends was “massive.”

“We appreciate each other more but what happened shows us how cruel the world can be.”

Di’s friends are now attempting to ensure something positive emerges from the tragedy. “We always mark her anniversary. This year we wanted to help save a life in memory of Di. Our slogan for the awareness campaign was ‘Remember a life by saving a life.’”

Hundreds of people signed up to the register on the day. “We got a good reaction from most of the public,” said Aileen. “We would ask everyone to sign up online. It only takes a few minutes and you can save lives. We would like to thank Next who allowed us to campaign in their stores and First Source who asked their staff to do the same.”

To save a life log onto www.organdonation.nhs.uk