The husband of a new mum who gave the gift of life with the donation of her organs after she died has urged people to join the donor register.
Susan Reid, 33, passed away from post-partum cardiomyopathy just weeks after giving birth to her second child, Gregor, who is now three months old.
And now her friends Abby and Dave Miller, who live in Kintore, have created a crowdfunder to raise cash for charity and support Susan’s husband Stuart.
Stuart, 40, today also appealed for people to consider joining the organ donation register, after three of Susan’s organs were donated after her death.
Tragically she herself was on the list for a transplant before she died from the heart condition.
As he paid tribute to his wife, Stuart, a former head of science at Banchory Academy, appealed for people to register as organ donors.
The freelance photographer said: “If I was to share a single attribute of Susan’s it would be her willingness to help others – sharing knowledge through her teaching, helping students learn their craft both in teaching and students in hospital. Her final act of helping others was to donate three of her organs after her passing.
“We knew of her final wish because we had all spoken about what we would like to happen with respect to organ donation should anything happen to us.
“It is without a doubt in my mind that while Susan was on the top tier of the transplant waiting list a suitable heart would have been available but the permission to go ahead with the organ donation process did not come from the family of the potential donor.
“Being on the organ donor list is not enough in itself, having the conversation no matter how difficult that might be is just as important as signing up to the donors list yourself. Please sign up to be an organ donor, please have the conver-sation with your loved ones. Give the gift of life.”
Abby, 42, and Dave, 41, have set up a justGiving page alongside friends Carole, Claire and Lorna to support Stuart, who now has to take care of Gregor and their other son Lachlan, 5, on his own, as well as raise money for the Golden Jubilee Heart Failure Ward in Glasgow, where Susan – who was a physics teacher at Aboyne and Westhill academies – was treated.
So far the fundraiser has made £2,105, beating the initial target of £2,000.
The Reid family lived in Kintore for several years before returning to their home town of Dunfermline to be closer to their families last year.
Abby, who has three children aged 11, eight and five, said: “We were neighbours for more than 12 years and good friends over that time.
“Susan and I were on maternity leave together as well.
“We made close friends through the baby massage group, and it was our collective desire to help Stuart out in a practical way from a distance which started the fundraising page.
“Bereavement with a newborn is a great enough burden without worrying about work. There were many in Kintore who knew the Reids and who were similarly devastated by the news and who wanted to help as well, so we felt that crowdfunding was an appropriate way to show Stuart how much support he has.”
She added: “When we heard what had happened, we just wanted to know what we could do and help Stuart take as much time as possible to stay with the boys before he had to go back to work.
“I’d like to think that my friends would do it for me if something like this should happen.”
Abby also paid tribute to Susan, who died last month, describing her as a “wonderful mother”.
She said: “She was remarkable. The kindest, gentlest person but she also had this amazing dry wit and sense of humour.
“She would pop by with her son Lachlan to play with my kids a lot.
“She and Stuart were great friends and always there for us. Susan was also a wonderful mother and put her children before everything.
“She made the most of life and had written her own book and was involved in lots of charities. She was a truly inspirational person.”
To donate money to the crowdfunder, visit http://bit.ly/2E06Eyw