Double lung transplant recipient Rachael Wakefield dies

A 23-year-old lung transplant patient from Manchester, who campaigned to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, has died.

Rachael Wakefield had been ill from the age of 13, with a rare condition called interstitial lung disease.

Eighteen months ago she had a double lung transplant, but had recently been in and out of hospital.

During her life she encouraged thousands of people to sign up to the organ donor register.

Miss Wakefield, who spent much of her life on oxygen, died on Wednesday night with her family at her side.

'Truly devastated'

Parents Lynn Wakefield and Phil Mottershead said: "Rachael fought to hold on to life right up until the very end and we are truly devastated that she has gone. She was a very special person and a daughter to be proud of.

"She will leave a great big hole in our lives but we hope, in time, the pain will ease and we will be able to focus on the work she did to make thousands of people sign up to be organ donors."

Prof Nizar Yonan, transplant director at University Hospital South Manchester, said: "Rachael was a great personality and a special young woman.

"Those of us who treat and care for patients who have undergone organ transplantation feel the joy and pain when they make progress or undergo setbacks. Rachael knew the risks but she wanted her chance of life and for a time she felt well and happy.

"Her campaigning work to make people aware of organ transplants resulted in many more people signing up to be organ donors, and for that I truly thank her on behalf of the many people who need or will need organs in the future."

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