A COUPLE mourning the loss of their third child will collect an award in his memory later this month.
Just weeks before he died, Paul Carruthers, 32, signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
Paul, of Ryhope, Sunderland, was inspired to sign up after the tragic deaths of his brother Mark, 21, and sister Amanda, 24.
Like Paul and his other brother, Stephen, 31, Mark and Amanda were both born with Crouzon Syndrome, a condition which causes cranial facial disorder.
Tragically, on March 25, this year Paul died after suffering a heart attack.
Devastated parents, Ian, 53, and Sue, 56, then spoke to a specialist donor nurse and agreed Paul’s organs could be donated to help save others.
Ian said: “It was what he would have wanted. When he was alive, Paul used to make everyone laugh.
“People knew him as the ‘tea-boy’ because whoever came in the house would get a cup of tea from him.
“He was well known in the area and he loved playing out on his scooter.”
Ian and Sue will travel to St James’ Palace in London on Wednesday, September 18, for the UK Organ Donation Awards where they will collect the award in Paul’s memory.
Paul’s heart, kidneys, lungs and liver were all donated to people waiting for organs.
Ian added: “The fact we know other people are being saved is really helping us come to terms with what happened. We will be the proudest parents in the world when we collect that award.”
Mum Sue recalled the moment Paul knew he wanted to become a donor.
“We watched a programme on TV a few months ago about donors and I said I’d do it, so he said he would too. That’s the kind of person he was,” she said.
Brother Stephen, who starred in Channel 4 show The Undateables, was devoted to his brother and was left devastated by his death.
Ian himself picked up the Regional Carer of the Year award at the Pride of Britain Awards in 2007 for his devotion to his children.
He added: “It makes us so proud to know there are people alive and having better lives because of what Paul has done.
“And, we know, he would have been happy about that.”