A HUSBAND has paid tribute to his “wonderful and brave” wife who has died while waiting for a lung transplant.
May Stone was a strong supporter of the Evening Times’ Opt for Life campaign, which aims to persuade the Scottish Government to introduce a ‘soft’ opt-out system of organ donation.
On February 9, MSPs will decide if Scotland should follow Wales and make this change, which experts say has the potential to increase the number of available organs by 30%.
May with Stewart Smith who also has the same lung condition
Today May’s grieving husband Andy, 55, urged MSPs to vote in favour of Glasgow's MSP Anne McTaggart's bill.
May, a devoted grandmother of three, passed away on Saturday at home in Penillee, ten years after being diagnosed with the progressive lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. She had been waiting over a year for a lung transplant.
Andy said: ““May was a strong supporter of the Evening Times campaign for an opt-out system.
“She always said, if this day, every comes to call the Evening Times and thank them for what they have done. I wanted to honour her wish.If you would accept an organ you really, really should give one.
“I know Nicola Sturgeon is a strong supporter (of opt-out). May had joined the SNP before her death.
“She had been getting steadily worse. She had been in hospital six weeks before but was able to get her wish to come home.
“She was a wonderful woman. A great girl, very brave. I take my hat off to her.”
The Evening Times interviewed May in September, when she urged the Scottish Government to follow Wales, which introduced a ‘soft’ opt-out system in December.
It means that unless a person has registered a clear objection to organ donation by opting out, they are considered to have given consent to donate their organs in the event of their death.
NHS Blood and Transplant believe it has the potential to increase the number of organs for transplant by 30%.
May talked of her wish to be able to push her grandchildren, Thomas, 6, Maria, 4 and baby Michael on the swings or walk down the street without two oxygen tanks.
She said at the time: “Being on the transplant list is wonderful but the waiting and being on alert takes its toll.
“Sometimes the government have to be bold.
“Our new Scottish Parliament did this with the smoking ban.
“People were quite shocked and wary of how this would turn out but were willing to be brave and trust our legislators, and of course it turned out to be something we are all very proud of.
“Now is the right time to be bold and go forward with the opt opt system, following Wales.
“I have no doubt we will be proud of ourselves again when we see lives and lists changed for the better.”
Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart launched the Transplantation (Authorisation of Removal of Organs etc.) Scotland Bill on the back of the Evening Times’ campaign.
The Scottish Government has said it is waiting for an evaluation of the Welsh system but British Heart Foundation Scotland has warned that it could take up to six years.
Meanwhile, they say, more than 500 people in Scotland are waiting for a transplant.
Research shows that the majority - 62% - of Scots would be in favour of a change to the current system
Ms McTaggart said: “It’s deeply upsetting to learn of the death of another person who was waiting on a life-saving transplant.
“On the February 9th, MSP’s will have the opportunity to bring about the change we need and introduce ‘soft opt-out’ which would help the hundreds of people who are still waiting on a transplant.
“Many of these people will die before a suitable organ becomes available but this is a real chance to offer them hope.”
A funeral for May will take place tomorrow at Our Lady and St George’s RC church.