A WIDOW has received an award on behalf of her late husband who helped save four lives by donating his organs.

Builder Gavin Wilson, 55, died suddenly in December 2020 and went on to become an organ donor.

Wife Gillian, who is a deli owner, this week accepted the Order of St John UK Award for Organ Donation on Gavin's behalf.

Recalling that fateful day in December last year, Gillian says there were no signs that her husband was ill.

She said: “When Gavin went to work that Wednesday he was fit and healthy, so when I got a call at 11.30am to say he was at the hospital, I rushed straight there with my daughter.

“He has taken ill and things weren’t looking good. The doctors said there was nothing they could do but wait and he was placed into an induced coma.

“The next day Gavin was actually breathing by himself, so we had hope, but then something changed and he took a turn for the worse. At that point I brought up the topic of organ donation.

“In our family, we had always spoken freely about organ donation so the kids knew what Gavin wanted if this day even arrived.

“We decided to approach the hospital staff about it as we’d seen how upset they all were for us, and we knew we had to act quickly.

“From that moment on my focus switched to donation and the importance of fulfilling my husband’s wishes to become a donor.”

Gillian, from West Kilbride, has spoken out about the importance of talking about the emotive topic during Organ and Tissue Donation Week, which runs until September 26.

She says it was important for the family to have that conversation in order to fulfil Gavin’s wishes.

She explained: “Having had that conversation, I knew my husband’s wishes 150 per cent and I was sure this is what he wanted.

“As we’d spoken about donation openly in the past, it also meant that no one in the family had any objections.

“During a time like that, you’re not thinking right, so I can’t even imagine making that decision without knowing what your partner wants.

“A gift is that when I tell people what happened, I can finish the story with, ‘Gavin saved four lives’, and we can end the story on a positive.”

Gillian says that her husband’s loss has been made slightly more bearable by the thought of all the lives he helped to save.

She said: “As a family, we are still struggling with the loss of our wonderful Gavin, but to be able to give the gift of life has brought us enormous comfort.

“We have been able to turn something so tragic into something so positive, and although it doesn’t make everything okay, it helps.

“It has been a positive ending to such a heart-breaking situation. I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I am of my husband.”

To record a donation decision, go online at www.organdonationscotland.org or call 0300 123 23 23.