Tom Wilson Memorial Fund given official charity status
PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 January 2017
A fund dedicated to raising awareness of organ donation after a hockey player died following a “freak accident”, has gained official charity status.
The Tom Wilson Memorial Fund was set up shortly after Tom’s death last year and has so far raised about £20,000 through fundraising events including a football tournament organised by his school friends.
Lisa said: “The support we’ve had has been amazing. All of his friends have done so much to help and we are so grateful.
“There’s a saying that I like to use now which is ‘from an end comes a beginning’.
“We wanted something positive to come out of what’s happened and I’m happy we decided to set up the fund to help others.”
Tributes poured in for former Coopers’ Company and Coborn School pupil Tom, 22, when he died in December 2015, after accidentally being hit on the head with a hockey stick during a training session.
When his parents Lisa and Graham, of Hornchurch, realised how severe their son’s injuries were, they considered organ donation.
They did not know that in his first week at Nottingham Trent University, Tom had signed up to the Organ Donor Register.
Lisa, 53, said: “One of my concerns was that would he still look like Tom after donating his organs and tissue but we saw him after the process and he just looked angelic.
“We had spoken about organ donation around the dinner table but we didn’t know Tom had signed up to be a donor.
“It gave us comfort knowing that this was what he wanted.”
Tom’s donated organs were given to more than 20 people and Lisa says as he was also a tissue donor, he may have helped save up to 50 lives.
Sadly, two months after Tom’s death, his dad Graham died aged 63 having contracted sepsis during treatment for a brain tumour.
The charity raises money to go towards research into head injuries and brain tumours as well as promoting organ donation.
Lisa said: “I would whole heartedly recommend organ donation.
“It gives us great comfort to know that something positive has come out of such a tragic event.
“Out of such sadness, there is hope.
“There is no age limit when it comes to being an organ donor.
“It is extremely important to have conversations with family members. Make sure your family know your decision.”
To register visit here
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