Mom who died just days after giving birth saves 12 lives after donating organs

Mom who died just days after giving birth saves 12 lives after donating organs

A mother who died just days after giving birth has saved the lives of 12 people by donating her organs.

The selfless decision was made to honor the wishes of Kathleen Thorson, from Medford, Oregon, who died unexpectedly after giving birth to her fourth child, a son she named Theodore, on December 29.

Credit: GoFundMe

Five days after the birth, she was unexpectedly rushed to the ER, her GoFundMe page revealed, having suffered a brain bleed. Tragically, even after surgery, the bleed was so severe that she was left braindead.

Richard Stubbs, who organized the GoFundMe, wrote: "On Sunday, December 29th the Thorsons welcomed to the world their youngest son and brother Teddy. Five days later Kathleen was rushed to the emergency room due to severe bleeding in her brain, causes unknown."

A woman who died in childbirth with three of her children. Credit: GoFundMe

The post continued: "Kathleen's condition deteriorated to a point that she could no longer survive. As was her wish, we are doing everything we can for her to be the prayed-for miracle of life for certain others in need of organ donations."

"There aren't many words to be said except that we love her, and we will miss her with every breath we take. Through all of this hardship, her love, life, and magic are still felt."

Kathleen suffered what is known as an intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) - a condition where the brain tissue begins to bleed.

A 2019 study by the American Academy of Neurology found that hemorrhaging is most common in pregnant women in their third trimester and postpartum.

A woman who died after childbirth. Credit: GoFundMe

After Kathleen was declared brain dead, doctors had to discuss the subject of organ donation with her family because she was a registered donor. Because of the circumstances surrounding her death, she was a perfect candidate, and the 12 organs she ended up donating, including her heart and lungs, was unprecedented.

"The nurse told Jesse the chances that someone is a candidate of this magnitude is less than [one] in a million," Stubbs wrote on the GoFundMe page. "But anyone who knew Kathleen already knew that."

A woman who donated her organs. Credit: GoFundMe

The GoFundMe was subsequently set up to help cover the unexpected costs of Kathleen's funeral and to help her husband, Jess,  as he is having to take a significant amount of time off work. At the time of writing, it has already smashed its target of $95,000 and the total is at $199,000 and counting.

If you would like to help Kathleen's family, you can donate to her GoFundMe here.