Teenager killed by a driver who failed an eye test gives gift of life to others
Tragic death: Cassie McCord was killed by a driver who failed an eye test
Cassie McCord, the teenager killed by a driver who failed an eye test, gave away her corneas and scleras to help others see, her mother has revealed.
Other organs the 16-year-old donated included a life-saving liver, pancreas and kidneys – and Jackie McCord has already received a letter from the recipient of some of the transplants, thanking her for the gift.
Cassie was killed after a car driven by Colin Horsfall, 87, hit her on the pavement in Head Street, Colchester on February 7, 2011
Horsfall had been in a minor accident and failed an on-the-spot eye test, but held onto his driving licence, an inquest heard. A coroner ruled That Cassie was unlawfully killed.
She was taken to Colchester General Hospital after the accident, before being transferred to the specialist unit at Queen's Hospital in Romford.
At shortly before midnight on February 8, two doctors carried out brain stem tests and declared her brain dead.
Cassie's body was kept functioning until 4.45am the following morning when surgeons removed her organs for transplant.
Cassie's mother, Jackie, is a supporter of organ donation but spoke of the deeply traumatic moment the issue of organ donation was discussed.
This CCTV footage shows the car that killed Cassie being driven along the pavement moments before the teenager was hit
She said: 'A woman called Maria approached us and asked us about the possibility of organ donation.
'I will always remember her. I would not want that job if it was the last one in the world.
'I do believe people should opt out of organ donation rather than opt in.
'It would stop people having to make that decision at that awful time.'
Brave mother: Jackie McCord has spoken about how Cassie's organs were donated after her death
Mrs McCord had wanted Cassie's lungs
and heart donated too but was prevented from doing so by the possibility
of a forthcoming criminal investigation.
The police had to be sure of the cause of Cassie's death.
Some time later, Mrs McCord received an anonymous letter from the recipient of her liver and pancreas.
The woman, who was married with a daughter, said she had been diabetic for 22 years before she became ill.
After four years of deteriorating health, she was facing death.
However, she is now recovering thanks to the transplant.
In her letter, she said: 'I just want you to know I am taking good care of your gift and will continue to do so.
'I can't express how forever grateful and hopelessly in awe I and my family are of you and your family.
'Thank you for my second chance of life. Thank you for giving my daughter her mummy back and my husband his wife.'
Mrs McCord said: 'I will write back to her. I will tell her they are hers now.'