A LATE mum’s legacy lives on after her organ donation saved three other people’s lives. 

Susan Reid, a teacher at Queen Anne High School, was just 33 when she died in December due to heart failure caused by her pregnancy. 

She waited patiently for a new heart with her two-month-old son, Gregor, five-year-old son Lachlan and husband Stuart beside her but, tragically for the Dunfermline family, a donor wasn’t found in time. 

Determined to give others the gift of life, she decided to donate her organs, which has resulted in three strangers getting a second chance of life. 

Susan was honoured by St John Scotland at a ceremony last Friday for giving others hope. 

Husband Stuart, 41, told the Press: “Susan was a very giving and caring person. She always wanted to help others to understand and learn, that’s why she became a teacher. 

“Both her kidneys and pancreas were donated so it just shows how important organ donation is. 

“Susan was at the very top of the waiting list for a heart and her doctors were surprised that she didn’t get a donor in time. 

“The thing is, people can sign up as an organ donor but even then, family members can stop it from going ahead. 

“The likelihood that there was a heart for Susan, but a family stopped an organ donation, is pretty high. 

“The reality is that there is a family like mine that are living with the effects of not having a mother, wife and daughter around any more. If a family had just been brave enough to make a donation, our lives would have been very different.”

Susan’s health problems began after giving birth to her second son last September. She was well at first but after a couple of weeks she suffered from a bad cough and seemed rundown. 

After attending hospital, she discovered she had fluid on her lungs which is an effect of peripartum cardiomyopathy – pregnancy–related heart failure. 

The condition is quite common but most people don’t know they have it and recover. However, Susan didn’t. 

“When they realised what it was, Susan was transferred to the Golden Jubilee in Clydebank and she was placed on the waiting list for a new heart,” Stuart continued. 

“Gregor was only two-weeks-old at that point and as a family we are very grateful to the staff there who allowed us to stay with Susan, providing us with accommodation, so we could be there even at the drop of a hat. 

“Unfortunately, her condition deteriorated. 

“She went through various treatments. She was given an ECMO device which basically gave her heart a rest but that didn’t work. 

“Another treatment regulated the flow of her blood and oxygenated it but that was not a great success for her either. After that, she was elevated right to the top of the heart transplant list but that didn’t come quickly enough, and she ended up having a brain haemorrhage. 

“Gregor was just two-months-old.”

After his experience, Stuart is urging everyone he can not only to sign up as organ donor but also to have a conversation with their loved ones about their wishes. 

“My call is that people do the socially-responsible thing,” he said. “Organs are no use to you when you’re gone. 

“I tell people it’s like when the Egyptians buried their fortunes with them, the gold has no value any more.

“This is still very raw but there is an opportunity for me to beat the drum about organ donation. 

“I heard a mother wouldn’t donate her son’s heart because it made him who he is. 

“But Susan was only 33, she was just starting her life and it’s a ridiculous reason not to give a heart to someone else.”

Speaking of how he has coped since Susan’s death, Stuart said: “When she passed away I decided I could have sat in a corner and crumbled or stayed strong for the boys. 

“With the help of family and friends I did that. There is still laughter and music in the house because it would have been like that if Susan was here. It changes your outlook on life and makes you appreciate everything you’ve got.”