NOTTINGHAMSHIRE: Leela Keshavji, 47, from Nottinghamshire, died in October following a brain haemorrhage. The mother-of-three regularly had conversations with her family about the importance of organ donation.
Her family has set up a foundation in her name to urge others from black and Asian communities to do the same. Mrs Keshavji’s kidneys, lungs, liver, pancreas and heart valves were all used to help other people, BBC has reported.
Her husband Manoj said: “She was acutely aware there is a huge shortage of organ donation for everyone, but particularly the BAME community. “Many years ago, she registered as a donor and she regularly had these conversations with myself and the children to explain the importance of it.”
He said she wanted to become a donor after seeing the “heartache” some families were going through waiting for donors. “Even after life, she wanted to give,” he added.
Mrs Keshavji was trained as a Panditain – a Hindu priest – and was involved in numerous charity projects. This included helping to provide meals for the homeless, vulnerable and NHS workers in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.
The NHS has said black and Asian people have to wait, on average, a year longer than white people for a kidney transplant in England. In May, a law change in England meant people were required to opt out of being organ donors, rather than opting in.
NHS Blood and Transplant said prior to the law change there was a record high number of black and Asian people receiving an organ transplant.