THE MOTHER of a Leeds boy who was close to death and needed three liver transplants is hoping his story will inspire people to sign the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Theo Bowens, of Adel, was struck by an unknown virus which caused acute liver failure when he was a 13-month old baby.
He was close to death before his first liver transplant five-days after he was diagnosed.
That transplanted liver failed and he remained critically ill before an urgent second transplant was carried out two days later.
Theo suffered recurring infections and underwent a third liver transplant at three-years-old in October 2008.
He suffered from delays in his development and has a rare form of epilepsy – both as a result of acute liver failure.
Now aged 12, Theo loves cycling riding and swimming and has competed in events at the annual British Transplant Games since 2009.
His mother Rebecca Bowens, 46, said: “Theo is only alive today because three people were willing to go on the donor register and their families agreed to allow their organs to be donated.
“That’s why he is alive and living life to the full. We are thankful every single day for the donations of the three organs.”
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is urging people to sign the Organ Donation Register as part of its Be A Hero campaign, which is backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
NHS Blood and Transplant are urging potential donors to speak to family members about their wishes during Organ Donation Week – which ends tomorrow – after revealing many families are often unsure and decide it is safer to say no. It means around 460 lifesaving organ transplants are missed each year.KK
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call the NHS Blood and Transplant 24-hour-a-day donor line on 0300 123 23 23.