Dawn’s gift of life through donations

Dawn Coverdale who died suddenly last week at the age of 51.
Dawn Coverdale who died suddenly last week at the age of 51.

THE family of a much-loved Forfar woman, who died suddenly last week at the age of 51, are taking some comfort from the fact her death has helped save the life of at least three others through organ donations

Dawn Coverdale (nee Diplexcito) collapsed last Tuesday at Kirkriggs Court whilst visiting her mother Margaret. As her home help Dawn was doing her mother’s laundry at the time.

She was rushed to Ninewells Hospital but it emerged she had suffered from a subarachnoid aneurysm and would not survive.

Her husband Alan and son Ross took the brave decision of consenting to allow some of her vital organs to be used as transplants, with three patients receiving the gift of life from her kidneys, pancreas and liver.

Trying to gain something positive out of their grief, Alan said: “The message to anyone considering carrying a donor card is very positive.

“This has made me more determined to carry a card. We had to consider that Dawn was hopefully able to help others. There is some consolation that something positive has come out of it all. It obviously doesn’t change anything for us, but it does help.

“We know one patient down south got a kidney, but the second kidney, including the pancreas, stayed in Scotland. We think this is particularly significant because it is going to somebody on dialysis and with severe diabetes, which was a condition Dawn’s dad had.

“He went through dialysis at Ninewells and he had severe diabetes too. We were very pleased Dawn was able to hopefully help someone else in that respect.”

Whilst a third patient received Dawn’s liver, her legacy of life could also live on in years to come as the valves from her heart are in storage and can be used to save the life of up to four babies in the future.

Ross, who carries an organ donor card and who is a blood donor added: “The way I perceive it is, if an organ donation could have saved my mum, then we would have done all we could. Hopefully we have saved someone else’s loved ones from having to go through losing somebody.”

Born in Forfar, Dawn was the eldest of Morrice and Margaret Diplexcito’s six children - Dawn, Maggie, Carol, Morrice, Andrew and Jacqueline.

The family lived in Green Street before moving to Fruithill and Langlands Road. After attending Langlands Primary and Forfar Academy, Dawn began a career in the hotel industry, working in Benholm, the Royal Hotel and then the Lunan Bay Hotel, where she met Alan.

The couple married at Haymarket Registrar’s Office in Edinburgh in November 1987, starting their married life in Middlesbrough with their son Ross before moving to the family home in Mount Feredith in 1988.

Family was the centre of Dawn’s life and, after bringing up Ross, she worked part time in Lunn Poly, worked with Virgin Vie and in marketing before taking up a position with Thomsons where she excelled as a sales-woman.

She won numerous trips and awards including a trip she was due to make last Sunday to Cape Verde.

As well as travelling extensively over the years Dawn’s main interest was her family.

They described her affectionately as a “shopaholic” who was renowned for hunting out a bargain!

Dawn is survived by her husband Alan, son Ross (24) and daughter-in-law Cheryl.

Her funeral will take place this Friday at the East and Old Parish Church at 11.30 am followed by committal at Parkgrove Crematorium, Friockheim at 1.30 pm. Donations, if desired, can be made for Lippen Care.