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Bolton Woods woman who died at 43 donated organs to help others
The daughter of a woman who helped save six lives after her death has paid tribute to her organ donor mum.
Cindy Whitaker, who was just 43, had gone to get peas for tea from the cellar freezer at her Bolton Woods home when she suffered a stroke and fell down stairs.
She was conscious when paramedics got her to Bradford Royal Infirmary, but doctors had to put her in a coma to carry out a CT scan which revealed a massive bleed on her brain.
Miss Whitaker, who had been due to marry finance Roy Wood this Halloween, never regained consciousness.
She was taken to the intensive care unit where, hours later, medics declared her brain-stem dead.
Rebecca, 28, who is about to have her first baby, said: “They said she’d had a stroke but I couldn’t believe it at first.
“I said she was too young, she’d not been ill. The doctors did consult neuro-specialists in Leeds but they all agreed there was nothing more they could do and it was just a matter of time.”
It was in ICU that Rebecca told doctors her mum was an organ donor.
She said: “She had told me she wanted to help others live if she died and when the hospital checked the NHS Organ Donation Register they found her details.
“It was pretty horrible waiting while they kept her alive to find the best organ matches but when it was time Roy and I walked to theatre with her and said our goodbyes.
“It broke our hearts but knowing she was giving life to others made the worst day of my life more bearable.”
Miss Whitaker’s lungs and kidneys helped four people and her liver helped a small adult and a seven-year-old girl who until her transplant had not been able to breathe by herself.
Rebecca said: “We’ve been told the little girl is out of intensive care now.
“We are all so proud of mum. In life she was an opinionated, intelligent and feisty lady with her whole life to lead."
Rebecca has now set up a fund in memory of her mother, which is in aid of The Stroke Association.
It can be found at stroke.
Family and friends went to her funeral at Nab Wood wearing Hawaiian shirts and summer dresses.
Rebecca said: “Mum wouldn’t have wanted us to wear black and wail. She would have wanted us to celebrate her and that’s what we did.”
Rebecca said: “I really hope her story will make other people think about signing up as organ donors. It won’t bring mum back but it could save more lives.”
Proceeds from the event at Hockney’s, on Sunday, August 14, will be split between The Stroke Association, Help For Heroes and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Daredevils are also being encouraged to raise at least £50 sponsorship to join in a 150ft bungee jump on the day.
Other attractions will include a bouncy castle, other fun and games and a Battle of the Bands gig in the evening.