The mum of a Winsford schoolboy wept in Parliament after an emotional tribute was paid to the little girl whose donor heart saved her son.
Emma Johnson had to leave the chamber after becoming overcome with emotion when moving tributes were given to nine-year-old Keira Ball whose death in a car crash enabled 10-year-old Max to receive her heart through organ donation, The Mirror reports.
Max, a pupil at Oswald’s Worleston CE Primary School in Nantwich, had been waiting eight months for a new heart after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, but his life was saved when Keira’s father Joe made the courageous decision to donate after she was killed in a car crash as her mum Loanna lay in a coma.
Emma said of being in Parliament: “It was so emotional. When I heard Keira’s name, I got up from my seat in the House and listened from behind the door because I was in tears.
“I know her heart is now beating inside Max and has saved my son."
Dad Joe has backed the Mirror’s Change the Law for Life organ donation campaign which means everyone is presumed to be a donor unless they opt out.
Dubbed Max’s Law, the new bill could save 200 extra lives a year and Government Ministers have given it their backing.
Joe, who urged MPs to “do the right thing” in memory of his daughter, said: "That is what this law change is all about – and I just felt so grateful to Keira’s family. It felt so right that she was remembered and honoured in that way.
“It was so emotional, listening to all the MPs’ personal stories of organ donation and it made you realise how it impacts on a cross-section of society.”
“It was just incredible to be there in the chamber and to hear them say ‘Max’s Law’. I just thought ‘That’s my boy. You’ve done good, kid’.”
The market researcher added: “I remember how brave he was when we asked him if he wanted to be part of the Mirror campaign, and the way he felt it might help others in his situation. That made me feel proud and I know the Mirror campaign helped him.”
Keira’s mum Loanna, 33, said: “We gave permission for our MP Peter Heaton-Jones to say what happened to us in Parliament.
“We wanted to tell everyone the donor’s story, so that it gives people strength in future.”
Speaking from home, she added: “We have drawn such comfort from Max’s progress and seeing him do so well. It does feel like Keira is now a part of history being made on organ donation, and that is amazing.
“It makes it feel like we’ve done something to help others, and we believe strongly in organ donation because it helps save lives.”
Emma said Keira’s family telling their story in the Mirror at such a key time may have “pushed the campaign over the finishing line”.
“It’s is an incredible legacy for Keira,” she added.