A SKIPTON man who donated his organs to help save the lives of others was honoured at Airedale Hospital last week.

Patsy Hofman, the daughter of Matthew Hofman, who was only 48 when he died three years ago from a sudden brain haemorrhage, proudly unveiled a plaque of her dad at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The picture was chosen by the family and shows Matthew at the Ribblesdale Holiday Park where he worked as a chef.

Patsy, 23, said: “I will never forget the day he died but neither will the parents of the 11-day-old baby who received his heart valves. He also helped four other people get a transplant with his liver, kidney, pancreas and corneas.”

The dedication is displayed in the relatives' room of the ICU in the hope it will encourage others to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and give comfort to families considering the decision to agree to organ donation in the saddest of circumstances.

In Matthew’s case he was already on the donor register, although his family did not know as they had never had the conversation. It was Patsy herself who first suggested he might donate his organs.

The unveiling took place during Organ Donation Week when NHS Blood and Transplant encouraged people to talk about organ donation with their relatives and friends.

Rachel Wiseman, specialist nurse for organ donation at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s all about having that conversation. There are only a very small proportion of people who will ever be in circumstances to donate their organs because they have to die in the circumstances that Matthew sadly did, on the ICU.”

Patsy has received regular updates about the recipients which has given her comfort and helped with her loss.

Patsy said: “I would just say how helpful it was for me to get those letters and to know that some good had come out of it. I always think of it in terms of my dad was always fixing things, if anything was broken he would keep the parts for the next thing he had to fix, to me it’s a bit like that.”

Rachel said: “A lot of our families say it helps them, not always at that immediate time but in years to come.”

NHS Blood and Transplant surveys show more than 80 per cent of people support organ donation but only around 49 per cent have ever talked about it.

If you want to be a donor, your family’s support is still needed for donation to go ahead, even if you are on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Anthony Clarkson, assistant director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Tell your family you want to save lives. A few words now can make an extraordinary difference.”