Just don't use her eyes, we said

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The Independent Online
Sue Tumber's daughter, Sophie, died of a brain haemorrhage in December 1986. She gave permission for Sophie's organs to be used for transplantation. She lives with her husband, Geoff, and their 17-year-old son, Tom, in Fulham, London.

WE WERE in a fortunate position because Sophie had made known to us what she wanted. We used to watch That's Life on Sunday nights and we saw Ben Hardwicke's mother talking about her son's need for a liver transplant. Sophie would be crying her eyes out, saying 'Why can't someone be kind enough to give him a liver?'

She was a very Christian little girl, always for the underdog. So the decision in relation to donation was taken for us. If the doctors had asked permission to remove her eggs as well as other organs, it would not have made an iota of difference.

We gave permission for her heart, lungs, liver and kidneys to be used. The only thing for which we did not give permission was her corneas, because my husband could not bear the thought of her lovely eyes being used.

Eggs are just eggs. I would not have sat here thinking that I wanted to see my grandchild. If I did not approve of IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) it would be different, but I do not object to it.

If Sophie had needed a liver or kidney, I would not have wanted someone to die, but I would have hoped that a family, in their hour of despair, would have been generous enough to help out.

That was how it was with us. I did not want Sophie to die and I have had seven years of misery, missing her every day - but I am still pleased that her organs were able to help someone. I would feel the same way about her eggs.

Some people said: 'How could you allow her organs to be taken away?' But I only had two other choices, both rotten. I was either going to have to burn or bury them. That was a waste. Others have asked: 'How could you let people open up her body?' But I would have let a surgeon do it, if she had appendicitis.

(Photograph omitted)

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