A newborn baby girl has become the UK's youngest ever organ donor after she donated her kidneys and liver cells after being alive for just 74 minutes. Tiny Hope, was born with anencephaly – which is an absence of a major part of the brain, skull, and scalp that occurs in the womb.
Emma Lee gave birth to twins last week but 13 weeks into her pregnancy they were asked whether she and her husband Drew wanted to abort Hope after scans showed she suffered from the incurable condition. But the couple refused and Hope died in her mother's arms after just over an hour of life.
Her twin brother Josh was born healthy just two minutes after and her distraught parents, from Newmarket, agreed to donate her kidneys and liver cells. Her kidneys have gone to an adult and she was also able to donate liver cells to treat patients waiting for a liver transplant.
Her parents, although distraught, have said that they see their daughter as a hero. "Watching Hope being born was great but heart-breaking at the same time because I knew she wouldn't survive," said 51-year-old Drew to The Mirror.
"She only lived for 74 minutes but she has achieved more than some people do in a lifetime. We feel our little girl is a hero." Babies born with anencephaly, which affects around 6 in 10,000 births, only survive for a matter of minutes or hours.
"Today she is still living on inside someone else and it helps with the grief, it's taken some of the pain away," Emma said. "I have always felt very strongly about donation and all my family are donors."
Baby Hope's extraordinary donation is only the second transplant from a baby in the UK with the condition. In April this year Teddy Houlston, from Cardiff died on 22 April after only 100 minutes and 100,000 people signed up to the organ donor register after Teddy's story was made public.
"Before I was pregnant I read about Teddy in the paper and my only thought was that his parents were so brave," Emma added. "I never expected that I would end up in exactly the same position. When we found out Hope wouldn't survive, knowing Teddy's story made me confident doctors could do the same thing."