Eggs shouldn't be given to older women

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The Independent Online
Carol Keene, from Croydon, lost her 17-year-old daughter,

Louisa, two years ago in an accident on the May Bank Holiday weekend. She and her husband, John, gave permission for her organs to be used for transplantation.

I STILL expect Louisa to walk through the door. She put her head round the door in the morning and said 'I am going out for the day, mum. I won't be late because I've got college in the morning.' I did not kiss her goodbye that day, though I normally do.

At 10.30 that night there were two policemen on our doorstep. It turned out that she, her boyfriend and his parents had gone to the top of Cheddar Gorge and she had slipped on some stinging nettles and fallen 200 feet.

We got to Bristol at 4am. She was on a ventilator. She was almost impossible to recognise. Her head had swollen to three times its normal size. Her eyes were black. It took a long time to remember her as she was. She had left looking stunning. She was pronounced dead at 8am.

She was not only my daughter, but my best friend. She was one in a million. She had a big beaming smile and could charm the birds out of the trees. She was taking her A-levels. Some mornings we used to have coffee together. She would come in from college just before I left for work (as a school dinner lady) and we would have a chat. There are no more coffee mornings now.

We followed her wishes with the organ donation. We all carry donor cards in this family. I would not have objected if they had used her eggs, as long as they were given to a woman under 40.

It is when you get women in their fifties being given fertility treatment that I do not approve. Raising kids is a hard job. I know because I had seven. Louisa was my eldest and my youngest are twins of 10. Women who are in their late forties and fifties do not have the energy to do it. It is unfair on the children.

We never discussed the question of egg donation, so I have to try to put my brain into her brain, to work out what she would have thought about it. I do not think she would have objected, except, like me, in the case of older women.

I know that technically it would make me a grandmother. But we would not have known the recipient's family, so I would never have known the child. With organ donation you are just given some basic facts.

We know, for example, that Louisa's heart was given to a 54-year-old man, her liver went to a 14-year-old boy and two men of 34 and 44 got her kidneys. But that is all we know. We have never met them and I assume it would be the same with eggs.

I am pleased to think that there are people walking around still alive or living a better life because of my daughter. It keeps her alive. It would have been the same if her eggs had been used.

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