A brave teenage girl hailed as one of Britain’s leading organ donation campaigners has died – just years after her own double lung transplant.
Inspirational Katie Gammon passed away three days after her 17th birthday when her body rejected her new lungs.
Despite her short life, she helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for organ donation – and used her story to persuade thousands of others to sign up to the transplant register.
The cystic fibrosis sufferer underwent a double lung transplant in 2013 but her body rejected the organs and she spent the last few months in and out of hospital.
Katie, from Barnstaple, Devon, was told on August 20 – her birthday – that no more could be done.
She died on Sunday with parents Angie Hart, 47, and Andrew Gammon, 48, and her two sisters Sam and Louise all by her side.
Mum Angie said: “They told us on her birthday she had a fungal infection which they were struggling to get rid of.
“Me, Katie’s dad and the girls told her what was going to happen. She was upset but after a few hours accepted it and decided to come home.”
When she was told she was dying, Katie told her mum: “I am only 17.”
She added: “Even though we knew she was going to go at a young age, you can’t ever prepare for that.
“The way you have to look at it is she got a transplant and she had two years.”
It is estimated that Katie helped to raise £20,000 for charity and the family would be planning one last big charity walk in her memory.
Her parents also said they would be continuing Katie’s organ donation drive.
Angie said: “I am so proud of her.”
Katie had been due to meet one of her idols, beauty vlogger Zoella who is followed by millions on Twitter shortly before her death, but was too poorly.
Zoella wrote: “Just heard the really sad news that a viewer called Katie has passed away.
“I was supposed to be meeting Katie last week but unfortunately she was too poorly to attend so I was putting together a goody bag to send to her tomorrow to make her feel better.
“It is heartbreaking to know she’ll never receive the presents and that I didn’t get to meet her and give her a big hug.
“My thoughts go out to all her friends and family at this hard time.”
Further were paid to Katie on social media.
Writing on Facebook Lauren Braunton said: “R.I.P Katie such a brave young lady. Such sad news, thinking of all the family. She was an inspiration to us all xxxxx”
Rachel Cooke also wrote: “Katie’s strength was absolutely outstanding. A remarkable young lady taken far too young.”