Gone too soon, but gracious Lauren gave the gift of life

Wendy Hastie reflects on the life of her 17-year-old daughter, Lauren who died in a car accident. Lauren donated her organs to eight people.
Wendy Hastie reflects on the life of her 17-year-old daughter, Lauren who died in a car accident. Lauren donated her organs to eight people. Jason Dougherty

A GLASS of red wine, a candle and a certificate of appreciation were laid out on Wendy Hastie's kitchen bench yesterday.

The red wine was to celebrate what would have been her daughter Lauren's 28th birthday.

The candle was lit in Lauren's memory and the certificate was because of her daughter's legacy.

Mrs Hastie received the certificate at Nambour General Hospital on Wednesday for her ongoing contribution to organ donor awareness on the Coast.

She said Lauren had saved eight lives when she died from injuries sustained in a car accident in 2003, but by Mrs Hastie telling her story, Lauren had saved thousands more.

"When I tell people Lauren's story, whether it be at a school, a library or at the hospital, they feel compelled to go on and become donors themselves," Mrs Hastie said.

"Because she was so young, her story impacts on people in more ways than one and she has been able to save thousands of lives because of that."

Lauren was just 15 when she told her mother she wanted to be an organ donor.

"I said, 'That's nice, dear'.

"You don't ever think that's going to happen to you, but it did."

Two years later, Lauren was seriously injured in a car accident in New Zealand while out buying pizza.

She suffered a serious head injury in the crash and when Mrs Hastie and her husband Ian arrived at the hospital, they were told their daughter would not make it.

"She was lying there as if she was asleep in bed. She was warm and breathing with the help of the machines," Mrs Hastie said.

"The only sign of any accident was a little mark on the side of her head."

The next day, tests confirmed Lauren was brain-dead and the family had to decide whether to donate her organs.

"It was a decision that Lauren had made herself. I knew that was what she wanted," Mrs Hastie said.

"She donated her kidneys, lungs, liver, pancreas, heart valves and corneas."

Mrs Hastie celebrates Lauren's birthday each year by buying her a card, a bunch of flowers and sharing a glass of wine.

Another Coast organ donor advocate Matty Hempstalk, who had received two kidneys, also received the appreciation certificate.


Topics:  organ donation

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