A tissue donation card set up in memory of murdered Blackpool nurse Jane Clough has saved or bettered the lives of 114 people in two years, it was revealed today.
Miss Clough’s parents, Penny and John, were denied the chance to donate her organs following her brutal death in July, 2010. They backed a scheme the following year which would make police officers more aware of bereavement support and donation advice for grieving families.
The couple has learned since its inception, Jane’s Card which is given by police to bereaved families, has given 97 families the chance to access support and consider their loves ones’ end of life wishes after referrals from Lancashire Constabulary.
Of those, 21 families decided to donate organs – 14 were eye-only donations and four became multi-organ donators, including skin, tendons, cartilage and spleen.
Three were deferred because of issues affecting donation.
Mrs Clough, of Nelson, said: “The fact that these families have been given the chance to donate is so important to us.
“Once there is a death in a family, that’s the hardest thing it will have to go through. Jane’s card is just a way of advising on donation.
“All we wanted was to be able to donate Jane’s tissue, corneas, skin, tendons, valves and spleen. That was her wish in life. It’s great that the system is getting better.”
Mr and Mrs Clough were told they were unable to donate their daughter’s organs because of her killer’ Jonathan Vass’ right to a second post-mortem examination.
“It made us very unhappy to be told we couldn’t do something Jane would have wanted,” Mrs Clough said.
“It’s something we asked about on several occasions as we knew donations could be made quite a long time after her death. But we were still told no.” Jane’s card was launched in Preston, and is now set to spread to Lancaster and Newcastle.
Mrs Clough added: “People are now benefitting when they weren’t able to before. It’s about giving families the options and the chance to talk about organ donation, medical conditions allowing, whether they want to donate or not.
“It’s wonderful that the police are now broaching this subject with bereaved families. We love the impact this has had, it makes us feel very proud.”