Canoe victim's gift of life

Kate Stainsby and her partner, Paul Simpson, with their daughter, Hannah.

Kate Stainsby and her partner, Paul Simpson, with their daughter, Hannah.

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A MUM who died in a tragic kayaking accident has reached out from beyond the grave to save another woman who had only days to live.

Kate Stainsby, 41, from Swinton, near Malton, North Yorkshire, was canoeing at Sedbergh, Cumbria, on New Year’s Day, and died after capsizng.

She was on the organ donor register and her organs helped dozens of people, including liver transplant patient Laura, who has now written a moving letter to Kate’s partner, Paul Simpson, expressing her gratitude.

“I have had liver disease my whole life and a few months ago I was only given a few days left to live,” she wrote.

“It is hard to put into words what I want to say, but first I want to say a huge thank you for this second chance that I could only have wished for and for that I am forever indebted to you.

“I never have and never will touch a drop of alcohol in my life and please be assured that I will follow the recovery programme to the letter to ensure that your gift will be respected and very much cared for.

“Again, thank you very much for this second opportunity for a new life."

Kate, a senior physiotherapist lecturer at York St John University, was with fellow members of York Canoe Club when she fell into the river. She is survived by Paul, her partner of 16 years, and their three-year-old daughter, Hannah.

Mr Simpson said: “We have received a letter from a 23-year-old girl who back in December was only given a few weeks to live; she is now living a much improved life and it’s knowing that, that will help us get through Christmas and the anniversary of Kate leaving us."

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