A bride has thanked the organ donor who saved her father’s life to allow him to walk her down the aisle.
Stacey Rees from Errol said it was a “dream come true” to have her dad David Paterson at her wedding at Lindores Abbey, four years after his kidney and pancreas transplant.
The 31-year-old met her now husband Gareth in 2013, not long after her father was diagnosed with kidney failure and placed on the transplant waiting list.
Both Stacey and her mother Wilma put themselves forward to be assessed as living kidney donors, and were a match, however David got the call that a deceased donor match had been identified while they were going through the process.
The transplant went ahead in November 2015, resulting in David no longer being diabetic and allowing him to recover in time to give his daughter away.
Midwife Stacey, who celebrated her wedding last weekend, said: “I’m still on cloud nine.
“Any wedding day is special, but having my dad there to give me away was like a dream come true.
“When dad got really ill, it was hard to watch. He was exhausted all the time, the chemical imbalance led to confusion, and we could see him deteriorating whilst he waited for his transplant.
“I worked away at the time, so I had written him a letter in case I wasn’t there when the call came, telling him what a great dad he was and thanking him for all he’d done for me.
“Thankfully I made it to Edinburgh in time to see him being wheeled to theatre. I remember thinking how lucky I was, and how lucky he was – and is – to have been given that opportunity.
“Dad got his life back thanks to his donor and every November we meet to celebrate that gift and think of the family who we know will be going through a very different day.
“They’ll never know what they did for us, but on my wedding day that person was in our thoughts. We’re incredibly grateful and it made the whole day even more emotional.”
David, from Carnoustie, celebrated his 60th birthday on Wednesday and is now well enough to enjoy a game of golf.
He is encouraging anyone interested in being a donor to register.
“When the moment came, I was a wee bit choked to be in the position of being able to walk Stacey down the aisle,” he said.
“My donor and their family are never far from my thoughts, but they were a big part of that moment, as their gift made it possible. It was an amazing day, one that I’ll never forget.
“Before the transplant, things were a struggle. Life now is night and day to what it was before, and it’s all thanks to that person.
“If people want to be an organ donor, I’d encourage them to register their decision. It could mean so much to several recipients and their families.”
From autumn next year the law around organ and tissue donation is changing in Scotland, meaning if people have not recorded a decision, it may be assumed they are willing to donate when they die.
Everyone has a choice, whether to opt in or opt out, and people are being encouraged to record their decision on the on the NHS Organ Donor Register and talking to their relatives about what they want to happen.