A Great Western Hospital patient saved the lives of three people after becoming the area’s oldest-ever organ donor.

Diana Episcopo unexpectedly fell ill while at home in Cirencester last summer and was diagnosed with an unsurvivable brain bleed.

The 84-year-old had spent her life working as an NHS doctor and was a member of the Organ Donor Register.

Her family were surprised to find that, at her advanced age, her organs could still be donated.

Daughter Joanne said: “We didn’t expect that my mum might be a viable organ donor, so when we discovered that actually she was and that she could be, we were quite proud of her.

“I very much feel that my mum spent her life caring for people, and she was doing that in her death.

“We were just amazed that at the age of 84, my mum could have organs that would help other people.”

Specialists at GWH transplanted her liver and kidneys into three people on the waiting list, which saved their lives.

Diana is the oldest donor that has been referred to the South Central Organ Donation Services Team.

This is an area within which the GWH Foundation Trust works that covers more than five million people across Wiltshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, and Buckinghamshire.

Diana was one of seven patients who donated their organs at the Great Western Hospital in the last year, which led to 19 patients receiving life-saving transplants.

The trust’s specialist nurse for organ donation, Trudie Neveu, said: “It is very important that people support organ donation by proactively registering their decision to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register or speaking with their family.

“That’s what Diana did, helping us to deliver life-saving transplants.

“As always, the dedicated staff here at the Great Western Hospital will help families through every stage of the process during what is a very difficult time.”

Organ Donation Week runs between September 18 and 24. The NHS is aiming to encourage at least 25,000 people to register their decision for the first time and is asking the public to take a few minutes to save up to nine lives in the future by confirming their decision and sharing it with their family.

A very small amount of people die in a way where it is possible for them to be organ donors, so, the more registered donors there are, the higher the chance of organ donation being possible.

Register your decision at www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/donate