THE mum and sister of a man whose heart helped to save the life of another will make the journey of a lifetime.
John Carter died aged just 33 in 2008, after suffering from a brain tumour.
John, who lived at Aylesford Mews in the city, agreed to donate his organs, and after his death his heart was received by Scott Rutherford.
Amazingly, earlier this year, John’s mum Freda was watching a church service for organ donors where Scott was speaking at – and immediately sensed that he had her son’s heart beating in his chest.
Now, Freda, 66, along with her daughter Julie, who works as a nurse at Sunderland Royal Hospital, will go on a train ride through the Canadian Rockies.
Julie spoke to the Echo earlier this year to encourage more people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.
The trip has been arranged by the Rocky Mountaineer tourist service’s Life Changing Train for Heroes programme.
The scheme has been set up to reward the actions of people who have made a significant impact on the lives of others.
Lynne Holt, who works at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and is a trustee of Transplant Sport, which promotes organ donation, said: “Transplant Sport are delighted that our organ donor and recipient families are being recognised as heroes by Rocky Mountaineer.
“They have already been on a journey they would never have chosen to take, and this journey through the Rockies acknowledges the enormous benefits of organ donation.”
Rocky Mountaineer’s chief executive Randy Powell, said: “We are delighted to show our gratitude to these heroes by giving them the opportunity to experience the magic on board our train, where they will share time with loved ones travelling through some of the most stunning scenery in the world.”