THURROCK mum Pat Carroll will be taking part in a two-stage sponsored walk on 11 and 12 July, from Lakeside Centre to Southend and back, in memory of her daughter Natalie, who died on New Year’s Day 2014 while awaiting a kidney and pancreas transplant. Natalie was 38.
This week is National Transplant Week 7-11 July, and 62-year-old Pat is hoping her 50-mile walk will raise awareness of organ donation, and the importance of being on the Organ Donor Register. Pat, who is a member of Impulse Leisure Belhus Park Golf & Country Club in South Ockendon, will be walking with her friend and fellow member Samantha Tuck.
Pat says: “Natalie was only eight when diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and, despite daily insulin injections and having to carefully manage her diet at all times, when she was 33 she suffered renal failure. She faced up to four-hour dialysis sessions three times a week, every week, without once complaining.
“Natalie was on the National Transplant register for a new pancreas and kidneys. She was lucky enough to find a suitable donor but, when the time came, she was too ill to face the nine-hour operation and after countless complications she lost her fight for life four years later, on New Year’s Day.
“I know nothing will ever bring Natalie back, but if my walk can help, even in a small way, by raising awareness and encouraging people to join the Organ Donor Register, then perhaps another family can be spared the pain and suffering we endured.”
Garry Tapsall, Group Health and Fitness Manager at Impulse Leisure, says: “Pat has been a member with us since 2006 and is very popular with other members and staff. When she told us about the sponsored walk and the story behind it, we were more than happy to support her. We’ve shared her story on our Facebook page and displayed an information board at the Belhus Park centre to raise awareness of what she’s doing. We wish her the best of luck with the walk, and hope it encourages people to look into organ donation.”
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/sam-evans12