Parents of Britain’s youngest organ donor are speaking out about the baby they lost in the hope their story will raise awareness and inspire others to become organ donors.
Teddy Noah Houlston, the son of Jess Evans and Mike Houlston, lived a mere 100 minutes after he was born but went on to become a hero in the eyes of many who knew his story.
According to the Mirror, Jess found out she was pregnant with twins but knew one of the twins had a fatal disease when she was just 12 weeks pregnant. Jess and her fiance, Mike, were told the baby had a rare condition, anencephaly, in which the skull and brain do not develop properly. The baby would not survive very long after birth, and Jess and Mike were given the option to abort the baby.
The parents decided to carry the baby to term, and on April 22, 2014, Teddy and his twin brother were born. According to BBC News, his mother described being a part of Teddy’s short life as “a privilege” and “an hour-and-a-half of pure joy.”
Just minutes after Teddy passed away, doctors took his kidneys and heart valves to donate. Teddy’s kidney’s saved the life of a man in Leeds who was suffering from kidney failure, according to the Westmoreland Gazette.
Initially, Teddy’s parents were told he would be too young to be an organ donor. Later, knowing their son would be an organ donor, Jess and Mike felt very proud of the son they brought into the world. His father called his son “a hero.”
“He lived and died a hero. It’s impossible to explain how proud we are of him.”
His mother explained how the organ donation process even helped them to grieve.
“Knowing that he was able to do such good, more good than most of us will ever do in our lifetime — it is just overwhelming how proud we are of him.”
Dr. Paul Murphy, of NHS Blood and Transplant, was inspired by the youngest organ donor’s gift.
“Every donation is inspirational. It is a selfless act of heroism. But Teddy’s story is exceptional. He was the youngest organ donor in the UK.”
Teddy’s parents are continuing their son’s legacy by raising money to make sure every South Wales hospital has a “suitable bereavement suite” and counseling service for relatives. The couple is raising money for a charity, 2 Wish Upon A Star, on a JustGiving website in honor of the youngest organ donor, Teddy Houlston.