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Grieving mum urges parents to discuss organ donation after son’s tragic death

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The mother of a teenage boy who died after colliding with another player during a football match has told Sky News that parents must talk to their children about organ donation.

Luca Campanaro, 14, from Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, was airlifted to Royal London Hospital on Sunday after the incident during a match against Harefield United in Hillingdon, west London.

He died on Monday and his organs have been used over the past week to save a number of lives around the world, including those of other children.

His mother, Jo Campanaro, said the pain she is feeling is indescribable.

Jo Campanaro believes parents must talk to their children about organ donation
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Jo Campanaro believes parents must talk to their children about organ donation

She told Sky News: “I know my son has passed away, but the reality of thinking we took him to football like we’ve done for years on a Sunday and the fact he hasn’t come home is the hardest thing to absorb.

“I get he’s gone, but it just doesn’t make sense. You just don’t take your child to football and not bring him home.

“It’s indescribable. My world stopped rotating the minute they told me Luca was gone.”

Luca had been a team member of his club Bedgrove Dynamos since the age of six
Image:
Luca had been a team member of his club Bedgrove Dynamos since the age of six

Just two weeks before his death, Luca had told his mother he would want to donate his organs in the event of his death after they watched a TV documentary on the subject.

Ms Campanaro said having the conversation – and knowing Luca has helped others – was a silver lining.

“You just don’t think those things happen to children – you hear stories of terrible accidents, but they don’t happen to you, they happen to other people,” she added.

“So it was just a conversation that had been put to the back of my mind and we just moved on obviously, until now.

“I’m so grateful for that conversation – I cannot get that over to people enough. It’s an uncomfortable conversation but it’s a really important one to have because it does make difficult situations like this easier.”

The NHS says anyone, regardless of age, can join the organ donor register.

Luca had been a team member of his club Bedgrove Dynamos since the age of six.

In a statement, the club said it was “deeply saddened” and would be holding a minute’s applause during its fixtures this weekend.

A Just Giving page set up to raise money for Luca’s funeral and other costs has already raised more than £25,000.

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