About George As we watched our son grow up and fall in love with science and medicine, it just confirmed what we already knew: that we had that rare kind of person in our lives with that extra-special spark. ur George was Mr Bright Side. He was thoughtful, caring, intelligent… and carefully cultivating something of a reputation as Overton’s Little Scientist at our village primary school. His passion for the subject was contagious – and it could hardly be ignored when his teachers sometimes found themselves getting science lessons from him. The eldest of our sons, in the summer of 2009 George had just turned ten years old – and was absolutely ecstatic at the news that we were expecting our fourth child. One day in August, George took his new bike out to show it to his friend. He was involved in a traffic accident. Our boy was rushed to Royal Preston Hospital by North West Air Ambulance. From there he was transferred to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. We waited and waited to hear about our son’s condition, but every time we heard from someone the news just kept getting worse. By the end, George wasn’t really with us any more. He died the next day. There aren’t any words to describe how it feels to lose your child. The hardest part was telling his little brothers, Henry and Max, who were eight and three at the time. All together, we were led into a side room where we could say goodbye to him. I remember it so clearly, stroking George’s hand. My little boy wasn’t there any more. When you lose someone, for a while it just doesn’t feel real. Only days before, we’d been sat with George in his choice of restaurant for his birthday – Gordon Ramsay’s Boxwood Café in London. He’d spent his birthday money in the Apple shop on Regent Street on an iPod Touch; we have a photo of him from when we visited the Ferrari shop next door. But now… we didn’t have George in our lives any more. We still had his memory though – and we wanted to do everything we could to honour it. Only a few weeks before we lost George, I’d been watching a programme about organ donation with him. When I asked him if he’d ever choose to be an organ donor, he didn’t even hesitate. He couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t choose to donate and save other people’s lives. That was the kind of selflessness that made George who he was. Honouring George’s wish to donate his organs when we lost him meant that our boy saved the lives of five other people. Despite our grief, there were some tears of joy when we realised what George’s donations would do. Somewhere out there, there’d be five families getting calls to say that their children’s organ transplants could go ahead. George’s lungs were donated to a 15-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis. His kidneys were transplanted to two patients in dire need of them, his liver was given to a young man aged 17 with just days left to live and his heart went to a little boy of four. People say we were brave to make the decision to donate George’s organs – but the truth is that we weren’t brave at all. We were just grateful to be in a position where we could bring some joy out of our situation. There isn’t a day goes by when we don’t think of our beautiful, clever, loving son, but we also think about all the people he’s helped – and that brings us so much comfort and pride. Our letters from the transplant co-ordinators and from one of the recipients and their family are very treasured, and we get them out from time to time to read. If anyone else ever finds themselves in the same heartbreaking situation as us, then we’d urge them to donate their loved one’s organs. It’s a decision we’re sure will bring them a great deal of comfort, and one that they’ll never regret. George isn’t with us any more, but his memory and his passion for science are still a huge part of our lives. Since then, everything we’ve done – from setting up George’s Telescope Appeal to appearing on national news and climbing Mt Kilimanjaro – has been for him. If you’d like to help us inspire more little scientists and see George’s Telescope built in Lancaster’s Williamson Park, then we’d love to hear from you. Just leave us your message on our contact form and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.