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Organs of Edinburgh cyclist killed last week will help others

Lifelong rider died following collision with car, witnesses sought

Here at we don’t cover every cycling fatality in the UK but we do report them when we feel they have a wider significance, be it to do with legal process, driver behaviour or paucity of cycling infrastructure.

One area into which we have not ventured, however, is that of organ donation, but a particularly sad cycling fatality in Edinburgh last week highlighted the issue of helping others after we die.

Last Tuesday a lifelong, dedicated cyclist Audrey Fyfe, 75, was “clipped” – according to the reports – by a car while riding home through the city after visiting her daughter and grandchildren.

She was knocked off her bike and sustained a serious head injury. Despite both prompt treatment at the roadside by passing doctors and being quickly transported to hospital, it soon became clear that her condition was inoperable.

She was kept alive on a life support machine for two days allowing her family to say their goodbyes before the machine was switched off last Thursday evening.

In doing so, doctors will hopefully be able to fulfil her wish to have her organs donated to help others. He liver, kidneys and corneas could be used to help improve the lives of three people in need of transplants.

Audrey's daughter Aileen, who travelled up from Bristol to be at her bedside following the incident, told the Scotsman: "She's always been keen to ensure that her organs could be used to help someone else.”

"Cycling is a way of life for our whole family. Mum and dad never ran a car and mum was an excellent cyclist.

"We've all seen accidents, but it hasn't stopped us. We need to increase awareness among motorists, and rather than hand out fines and points to drivers, we'd like to see them be made to cycle 1000 miles to see what it's like."

Audrey’s husband Ian told the paper: "When we got to the hospital she was lying there with tubes attached to her, keeping her going.

"At first they did plan to operate but it became clear there wasn't anything that could be done.

"She had been taking medication to thin her blood and this made the bleeding in her brain much more rapid. We stayed with her all night and said our goodbyes."

Despite their sudden loss, the family is intending to celebrate Audrey's life at her funeral and is asking those attending to come dressed in cycling gear to honour her lifelong love of the activity.

Perhaps another way, in addition to backing the family’s calls for motorists to be made more aware of the vulnerability of cyclists, would be for those of us who have not already done so to consider and preferably sign up to an organ donation scheme. In the UK that is done by joining the Organ Donor Register.

Lothian and Borders Police meanwhile, despite speaking to the driver involved  in the incident at the scene, are appealing for any witnesses to come forward. The force can be contacted on 0131 311 3131.

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griffinsnight | 12 years ago

This is a really touching story. Good for her. It's a bit of a touchy subject for a lot of people organ donation. It's good to see that a tragic accident has had something good come out of it.

Mask of sanity | 12 years ago

I work for NHS Blood and Transplant and it really is important that you opt in to donate your organs! Currently more than 93% of people would accept an organ but only 29% are on the register. People are dying whilst viable organs are destroyed.

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