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Girl’s decision to donate organs helps save record-setting 8 people

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LONDON - A 13-year-old girl from England who died from a brain aneurysm has left a lasting legacy.

Since Jemima Layzell’s death in 2012, her heart, pancreas, lungs, kidneys, small bowel and liver have been donated to a record eight number of people. Five of the recipients were children.

"In the UK, no-one else has ever enabled eight or more solid organ transplants into eight different recipients," said Corporate Communications Manager Stephen Bailey with NHS Blood and Transplant in the U.K.

Data compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing shows a total of 604 American deceased donors between 1988 and 2016 have each donated hearts, lungs, kidneys, pancreata, livers and intestines. Livers can be split and counted as two organs. This data doesn't reflect how many people were given the organs. A report released by the organization in January showed U.S. organ transplants increased by 8.5% since 2012.

Jemima decided to donate her organs a week before she died, according toThe Jemima Laysell Trust. In 2013, the Jemima Layzell Trust was founded by Jemima's family to raise funds to support children suffering from brain injury or trauma. 

"Every parent's instinct is to say no, as we are programmed to protect our child. It's only with prior knowledge of Jemima's agreement that we were able to say yes," Jemima's mom Sophy Layzell said. "Jemima was lovely — clever, funny, compassionate and creative — and we feel sure she would be very proud of her legacy."

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