A mother of a teenage organ donor met the man who received her son's liver for the first time at the finish line of a walking challenge.
Karen Glean waited at the end of the 100k contest from London to Brighton to congratulate Steve Dunster and say hello face to face.
The 50-year-old feared that it might be awkward to finally meet Mr. Dunster – even though they had exchanged emails for months.
But when she embraced the electrical engineer, she got a feeling for Ben, her 18-year-old who died of a heart attack in December 2017.
When she met the moment when she met Mr. Dunster, who needed a new liver after being diagnosed with cancer, Mrs. Glean said it was & # 39; surreal & # 39; used to be.
Karen Glean waited at the end of the 100k contest from London to Brighton to congratulate Steve Dunster and say hello (pictured together)
The 50-year-old feared that it might be awkward to finally meet Mr. Dunster – although they had been exchanging emails for months (pictured with her son Ben, who died in December 2017)
Mrs. Glean, living in Cardiff, added: & We went for coffee and I bought a bottle of champagne and we toast to Ben.
& # 39; The most moving moment for me was when I embraced him and I thought it might be uncomfortable because I don't really know him.
& # 39; But it didn't feel like he was a stranger. I got a feeling for Ben, it felt comfortable and familiar in a way, which was unreal, but very nice at the same time. & # 39;
Mrs. Glean had traveled south with her eldest son Michael during the festive weekend to congratulate 54-year-old Mr. Dunster.
& # 39; He takes care of my son's liver and uses his second chance to improve the lives of others. That's why Ben still makes a difference, & she said.
& # 39; As the walk came closer, I started to feel a little nervous, do you think Steve would be a nice person? Would he be the kind of person Ben wanted?
When Ben (photo) died only three months after his 18th birthday, Mrs. Glean did not hesitate to make the decision to donate his organs.
Mrs. Glean later discovered that Ben's kidneys had gone to two people in their thirties and his corneas returned to two other people (pictured together)
IS ENGLAND GOING TO HAVE OPTION DONATIONS?
Opt-out organ donation will take effect from 2020 after a government bill was finally approved in March.
The Queen gave royal permission for the bill – also known as the law of Max and Keira after the donated heart of Keira Bell, nine, saved the life of Max Johnson, 10, in 2017.
This meant that the institutional changes to the organ donation will come into effect next year.
It is expected to save hundreds of lives each year, the change means that all organs of adults can be taken after they die, unless they tell the NHS differently.
Schoolboy Max Johnson said about the decision back then: & # 39; Even if it only saves one life, it is worth it. & # 39;
& # 39; Suddenly I would finally get to know this man, knowing that there is a part of my son in his body. & # 39;
She added that it was a & # 39; proud moment & # 39; was to know that her son is responsible for Mr. Dunster, a father of two, who is still alive.
& # 39; As his mother, it doesn't feel like he's gone just because his body is no longer there, & # 39; said Mrs. Glean.
& # 39; He is still part of my life, he is still my son, his humor is still there and he still influences my decisions in the same way as when he was alive.
& # 39; For me it's a pretty lonely life without him, but to meet Steve, and know that the reason he was there because of Ben was great. & # 39;
When Ben died only three months after his 18th birthday, Glean did not hesitate to make the decision to donate his organs.
He died during the intensive care of the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby, after the cardiac arrest caused by his undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.
It was something the two of them had talked about and of which the teenager, who dreamed of becoming a police officer, strongly believed.
& # 39; Ben is the youngest of my two sons and had a character who could illuminate a room & # 39 ;, said Mrs. Glean.
& # 39; He studied for his A-levels at the time of his death and had passed the first phase to become a Special Constable.
& # 39; His dream was to become a police officer for our local forces, where he wanted to make a difference to the area and promote equality for everyone. & # 39;
Mrs. Glean said she knew that Ben wanted his organs to be donated to people in need.
Shortly after Ben & # 39; s funeral on December 28, Mrs. Glean spoke to his transplant team and asked if she could write to the patients who received his organs (Ben is pictured on a guitar)
Ben died of cardiac arrest – when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood through the body – in December 2017
& # 39; It was three weeks before Christmas and I thought nothing could be done for Ben now, & # 39; she added.
& # 39; But by saying just one word, I can make the situation of another family better. I could give them the miracle we couldn't have. & # 39;
Mrs. Glean later Ben & # 39; s discovered his kidneys had gone to two people in their thirties and his corneas had seen two more people.
Mr. Dunster was diagnosed with liver cancer and said he needed a transplant just eight days before Ben's death. He got the liver from Ben.
Shortly after Ben & # 39; s funeral on December 28, Mrs. Glean spoke to his transplant team and asked if she could write to the patients who received his organs.
WHAT IS A CARDIAC JUDGMENT?
Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body, which is usually due to a problem with electrical signals in the organ.
Because of this, the brain is starved by oxygen, so that patients do not breathe and lose consciousness.
In the UK, more than 30,000 cardiac arrests take place outside the hospital for a year, compared to more than 356,000 in the US.
Cardiac arrest is different from heart attacks, the latter occurring when blood flow to the heart muscle is interrupted by a clot in one of the coronary arteries.
Common causes are heart attacks, heart conditions and heart muscle inflammation.
Drug overdose and losing a large amount of blood can also be to blame.
Giving an electric shock through the chest wall through a defibrillator can restart the heart.
In the meantime, CPR can circulate the oxygen around the body.
& # 39; I told them that Ben would have died anyway, that he would rather die and help someone, and I thanked them for taking a piece of it and taking care of it, & # 39; she said.
When Mr. Dunster wrote back, the two found a direct connection and parallels with their family life. Recipients of transplants may want to write a letter of thanks to their donor family if they are personally ready to do so after the transplant, says the NHS.
& # 39; We have not talked much about the donation, or even about Ben, & # 39; she said.
& # 39; We have just discussed everyday life and it was such a inspiration for me to get to know him. & # 39;
Mr. Dunster, who campaigned to make people aware of organ donation, said it was surprising to discover that his donor was so young.
& # 39; It probably hit me harder than I want to admit, to find out that he'd been scared of him all his life, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; But although Karen's first letter did not go into details, it was enough that I felt comforted. & # 39;
Mr. Dunster added, "Now I have the feeling that I" take care of "the liver that I was so happy to receive."
Mrs. Glean said that Mr. Dunster's charity work helped her face Ben & # 39; s death because it feels like his drive is still there.
& # 39; And I am more driven because it is as if Ben is standing behind me to "go on mom" every time I tell his story or do something to emphasize the things he cares about, & # 39; she said.
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