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Liz's story

Liz Docker

Liz is a 54 year old nurse from Ashbourne in Derbyshire. In October 1994 the unthinkable happened to Liz and her family. Liz and Steve’s 9 year old son, Simon, was knocked down crossing a road near their home and he suffered a devastating head injury. Despite the best efforts of everyone in the paediatric intensive care unit, Simon did not recover and was declared brain stem dead 9 days later.

Liz has always had a positive attitude to organ donation, partly because of her background as a nurse but also because her sister, also a nurse, helped to care for one of the first kidney transplant patients back in the 1960s. Crucially, Liz and her husband had even discussed the concept of organ donation in simple terms with their children so they were confident it was what Simon would have wanted. Simon had described organ donation as the ultimate form of recycling!

Liz and her husband offered Simon’s organs for donation. Liz said:

"Personally, the decision was not difficult. However, I do appreciate that other people might find it harder than we did. I would encourage them to think in terms of trying to get at least a small positive outcome from a tragic situation.

It did take a long time to come to terms with the loss of our son but we have never regretted the decision to donate.

There is not a single day when I don’t think about him and what he might be doing now – he would be 27 by now so I imagine him having been through university and pursuing a career."

Liz and her family have seen their lives take on what Liz describes as a ‘new normality’. Liz’s other children have grown up and all their lives have been busy and fulfilling.

One of the things Liz is most proud of is the work she does to promote organ donation in various ways. She speaks to other nurses and health professionals at training days and she takes part in media interviews to further raise awareness on the subject. Liz also represents donor families on the local organ donor committee in her area.

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