Heartbroken relatives of a Sheffield teenager killed in a car crash have spoken of their pride in his gift of life to save four others.
Cian Pace, aged 19, told his parents of his wish to help others while watching a TV soap with an organ donation storyline.
And, just weeks later, when medics delivered the devastating blow that Cian could not be saved following a collision, his family agreed for his lungs, liver, bowel, kidneys, skin and arteries to be donated to help save other lives.
Speaking of her pride in her ‘fantastic and lovely’ son, Cian’s mum Margaret Hitchcock, 50, from Shirecliffe, said she hoped his gift of life would inspire others to follow suit and sign up to become organ donors.
Cian’s brother-in-law James Wragg has already pledged to become a donor to follow Cian’s example.
“If we can get three or four family members to sign up to become a donor, and people out there hear about what Cian did, you never know - we could save 20 lives,” she said.
“He had been watching EastEnders with his dad and there was a storyline about a kidney getting donated, and that’s when he said, ‘They can have my organs’.
“But he said, ‘Not my heart as that’s the essence of me, and they are not having my beautiful brown eyes either!’... so that’s what we did.
“My heart swells with pride when I think of him, and it is swelling more and more as his pals from school tell me more about him.”
Her husband - Cian’s stepfather, Michael Hitchcock, 52 - said: “If some good can come from this, that’s great.
“He has helped four people - four people are going to be alive because of Cian. There’s part of him living out there.
“He has saved some lives through him not being selfish - you get a lot of comfort from that.
“You grab every bit of comfort you can.”
Cian was a passenger in a silver Vauxhall Corsa which veered off the A61 Netherthorpe Road and onto tram tracks near the Brook Hill roundabout before crashing into a post on Sunday, November 10.
Cian, who worked at Cadbury’s in Hillsborough after leaving school with three A-Levels and a diploma in media studies, is to be laid to rest on Thursday.
A ‘celebration of life’ service will be held at St Catherine’s Church, Burngreave, at 12noon followed by cremation at Grenoside Crematorium at 1.15pm.
Hundreds of friends and relatives are expected to attend to say their last goodbyes.
Cian’s mum described her son’s death as ‘devastating’.
Michael added: “Everyone is numb - we still expect him to walk through the door.”
They said the teenager, who has two sisters, Claire, 28, and Siobhan, 26, was ‘a character’ who used to enjoy playing pranks on his pals and tormenting his two nieces Millie and Aoibhin, both aged five, and young nephew Patrick, 16 months.