Never in their worst nightmares did Nathan's family expect to be saying goodbye to their son, just days after he began to complain of headaches. The big-hearted, thoughtful teenager was always there for anyone who needed him; a legacy of kindness that continued after his death, with the lives of six others forever changed through his organ donation. Mum Donna shares their story:

“Nathan was always a quiet, thoughtful boy who’d often take things to heart quite easily,” she said. 

“But despite this he was always there for everyone. No matter who they were, he’d never stand by and watch anyone struggle, something I discovered much more about after he died from messages from his teachers and his classmates. I really couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Animal-loving Nathan, described by friends as having a heart of gold, enjoyed gaming and spending time with his close friends. His ambition was to become a chef in the Navy, following in his brother Adam’s footsteps whose culinary expertise inspired the teenager.

But one Saturday night, after he’d gone to bed, everything changed.

“He was shouting me from his room so I went in and he said, ‘I can’t feel my body’. I initially thought he must have just been laid funny, but he started getting agitated and complaining of headaches so I called 999.

“He then started fitting and fell unconscious, and when he awoke he kept shouting, ‘I don’t want to die, why now?’”

Nathan was rushed to hospital and before the family had time to digest what was happening, he was undergoing emergency surgery to remove a blood clot that was the size of an orange. It was the result of a bleed on his brain caused by something known as an AVM or arteriovenous malformation.

Just a few days later, doctors delivered the heartbreaking news that his brain had been starved of oxygen and was starting to die off.

“I was completely numb - it was like a bad dream. You just can’t believe it’s actually happening. I just wanted to scream and shout at someone and say, ‘he’s not dead’.”

“Never once did we think he wouldn’t walk out of that hospital with us.”

The family took the decision to donate his organs, something they know would have had Nathan’s approval.

“If he was able to do so, we know he would have given his consent. He’d have been proud to help others like that.”

Nathan’s family spent their final moments with him at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

“It was just so nice there and we were so well looked after. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend our last days with Nathan.

“In a strange way it made it all seem that bit easier. The room itself, the way it was all laid out and the way that everything was taken care of for us.

“When we were at Bluebell Wood Nathan just looked like he was sleeping, not wired up to various machines. It gave us a chance to see our boy as he should have been – and it gave us a more positive image to remember him by.

“I don’t think I would have managed like I have without that time at Bluebell Wood. I would have been left with that image of him in a hospital bed with wires everywhere.”

Donna has continued to use Bluebell Wood’s support services since Nathan died, something she says has helped a great deal.

“I really can’t put into words how much Bluebell Wood means to us, and how it’s helped us.

“There's so much more to Bluebell Wood than you can possibly imagine and it will always be very close to my heart.”

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