A MUM who died suddenly after being struck down with a brain haemorrhage has left a lasting legacy after her organs were used to give six other people the gift of life.
Hartlepool woman Lisa Bratt was just 40 when she died from the bleed, having suffered from excruciating headaches for years.
The mum-of-three was driving home, having dropped her husband, Paul, a 38-year-old lead instruction inspector, off on a training course in Middlesbrough, when she could not cope with the pain of yet another intense headache and had to pull over.
She ran to her friend’s house nearby screaming in pain and an ambulance was called to rush her to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.
Paul, who had been married to Lisa for 10 years, raced to her hospital bedside but when he got there he found Lisa with machines helping her breathe.
Response tests were carried out, but they proved negative and medics said they could do no more for her.
He admitted: “She had already gone, I knew that.
“I had a little bit of hope, but doctors warned me even if she had come through she wouldn’t have remembered her life.
“I never left her bedside, it was horrible.”
Paul said they kept Lisa clinically alive to remove her organs and she was pronounced dead the next day, on November 19.
Devastated Paul, from Owton Manor Lane, added: “If it was a small area, they could have operated, but because it was so severe there was nothing they could do.”
Unknown to Paul, Lisa had carried a donor card, and Paul and the family had a discussion before confirming they would go ahead with her wishes of donating her organs.
Her organs were donated to other people and two days after her death, a three-year-old boy was given her liver, meaning he could be home for Christmas.
In addition, a 40-year-old woman from Glasgow received her heart, and four other peope’s lives were also saved thanks to Lisa.
Paul said: “It’s a good thing and I’m extremely proud Lisa was able to help others.”
Former Dyke House school student Lisa was a full-time mum to Natasha Novak, 21, and Michael Bratt, 10 and nine-year-old Joshua Bratt, who attend Kingsley Primary School.
Paul described how he had to agonisingly tell his sons that their doting mum had passed away.
He said: “The hardest part was when the boys came in from school on the Tuesday and having to tell them.
“The boys have taken it all okay and Natasha is doing well at the moment.
“I have loads of family support and people I work with out in Africa have also come to see me, I’ve been overwhelmed.”
Lisa’s funeral was held on November 26 at St Aidan’s Church and Paul says it was “packed”, with people attending from as far as America.
Lisa, whose maiden name was Novak, had just qualified to be a fitness instructor.
Paul paid tribute to his wife, saying; “Lisa was kind, loving, happy-go-lucky and would do anything for anybody.
“She was the best mam the kids could ever wish for, she was the best wife, and she doted on her nephews.”
Lisa’s mum Denise Novak, 60, who is also mum to Julie Hill and Steven Novak, added: “She was the best, she was my eldest.
“I have my good days and bad days, but we have to cope.”
To join the NHS donor register call the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23.
A CHARITY football match was held on December 28 by adults connected to Joshua’s junior football team, Seaton Tigers.
It raised £2,800 for the family and is being spent on a headstone for Lisa and also for Paul to take the boys away on holiday,
Parents and coaches of the Tigers played against Golden Flatts during a match at Hornby Park, Seaton Carew.
The game was organised by Golden Flatts manager Jimmy Costello and Seaton Tigers coach Trevor Robinson, and ended in a 3-3 draw.
More than 100 people watched the game, which was followed by a disco.
Trevor said: “I’m happy we were able to help and it was nice that both teams came together to support the family.”
Town DJ Les Watts refereed the game in his own time and man of the match was Neil Newton from the Golden Flatts side.
Paul Bratt thanked Trevor and Jimmy and everyone involved in organising the charity game.
Paul said: “I was overwhelmed, I was choked up in tears on the day of the game.”