A-level student hit by car day before final exam saves nine lives by donating organs

The tragic death of a teenage student who was hit by a car the day before her last A-level exam may have saved the lives of nine people through organ donation.

Kate Whalley, from north Leeds, had taken the bus back from a psychology exam and had nearly arrived home at the time of the fatal crash on Thursday afternoon.

Her father said the wishes of the “beautiful” 18-year-old had been carried out as she was on the organ donor register – a sign of her “selfless character”.

Doctors told her family she had suffered severe head injuries and would not survive, but kept her on life support for one day to organise recipients for nine of her organs, including her heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

The two people who received her kidneys “are doing well”, Michael Whalley, 54, told the Harrogate Advertiser.

“I think it’s wonderful. It just shows the spirit and zest for life that Kate had that she wanted to give life to others,” he said.

“She was strong-minded, hard-working and fun-loving. She had a boyfriend called Tom and every time they were together they just laughed.”

Ms Whalley had hoped to study psychology at Newcastle University this autumn and was on track to achieve the required grades, her family said.

Police have appealed to anyone who may have witnessed the collision involving a black Ford Fiesta in the village of Pool-in-Wharfedale to come forward.

The car’s driver, a 22-year-old man from Harrogate, was arrested in connection with the crash and has been released as an investigation takes place, said West Yorkshire Police.

A 31-year-old man from Ilkley, north west of Leeds, was a passenger in the Ford Fiesta and was taken to hospital as a precaution after suffering minor injuries.

Last year, organs were donated by 1,413 people after their death, an increase of 3.6 per cent from the year before, according to NHS statistics.

The most commonly-donated organ was the kidneys, followed by the liver and heart. It is possible to join the organ donor register online.

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