Death of Padiham man (20) gives transplant hope to others

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A YOUNG man with a beaming smile and a heart of gold has given life to two transplant patients after dying from a heart attack.

Oliver Morton, who was 20, had learning difficulties caused by a lack of oxygen when he was born, but he had a special gift of bringing joy to everyone in his life.

One of his greatest pleasures was swimming. He was at the pool on Saturday evening with his best friend, Owen McGill, when he was taken ill. Staff at the pool in Bamber Bridge and paramedics fought to save him before taking him to the Royal Preston Hospital.

His parents, David and Jonte Morton, and his brother, Ben, rushed from their home in Bancroft Close, Padiham, to be at his side in Accident and Emergency and he was later transferred to intensive care.

His mum said: “They tried hard to save Oliver, but he was a very poorly boy. He slipped into a coma and on Sunday a CAT scan confirmed brain damage. We withdrew life support on Monday and donated Oliver’s organs for transplants. The doctors have told us that two ladies have had kidney transplants. One lady was very poorly and didn’t have much chance before, but Oliver has given them an amazing gift.”

Oliver attended Hillside special school in Longridge and when he was 16 transferred to Tor View, Haslingden, where he stayed until he was 19.

Said his mum: “He absolutely loved Tor View and had a very special bond with the teachers there, and he really enjoyed being at home with his family.”

At home, Oliver became fond of walking and loved going out in the countryside with friend Owen and his black Labrador, Finn. “Owen and his wife Jane are a big part of our life,” said Mrs Morton. “Oliver loved sitting with their son, Toby, watching DVDs together. Toby is six and they were like Little and Large.” Oliver had been thrilled with the recent arrival of his niece, Darcey, the daughter of Ben and fiancee Jenny. “He was very gentle with her,” said Mrs Morton.

Because there will be an inquest, the family has not yet been able to make funeral arrangements. “We are still in a whirl with everything that has happened. It’s unbelievable that so many people have told us their lives have been touched by Oliver.

“He really was an amazing boy,” added his mum.