Emergency services in South Tyneside have given their support to a ‘life-saving campaign’ in memory of tiny Miley Turbitt.
Firefighters and police have thrown their weight behind ‘In Miley’s Memory’ to encourage people to sign up for organ donation and change the law to make more organs available.
Both emergency services came on board after being touched by the story of the 14-week-old baby from South Shields, who died before a heart donor could be found – despite her being top of the European transplant list.
Firefighters and police officers met Miley’s family, including her older brother, Cole, six, who told them all about his sister and showed them how they can sign up to the organ donation register.
The fire service has pledged to highlight the campaign throughout Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, while the police will also promote ‘In Miley’s Memory’ throughout South Tyneside Area Command.
Ian Robertson, South Tyneside district manager for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is a really worthwhile campaign with a potential to save lives and we are fully behind it.
“A lot of people see firefighters as role models and hopefully by seeing how we are supporting this, they will come on board too.
“When Cole came to the fire station to speak to the crew, they were really touched, not only by the love for his sister but his bravery.
“As an emergency service, we protect the public and save lives by attending incidents. By supporting this campaign, it is one more way we can help to save lives.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Peter Sutton said: “You can’t fail to be touched by Miley’s story and the courage her family are showing through launching such a worthwhile campaign.
“During Cole’s visit to the station, he told officers about his sister and brought home how important signing up to the register is.
“In times of tragedy, someone who is on the donation register, can often save someone else’s life.”
In Miley’s Memory was launched yesterday and encourages people to sign up to the organ donation register.
The family are also calling on people to support a petition for a change in the system, where people are automatically entered for organ donation unless they opt out.
Miley’s mum, Sharon Eckert, said: “It’s fantastic that the police and fire service are getting behind Miley’s campaign. We have had so much support, it’s unbelievable.
“Both have been really good with Cole, he really feels part of the campaign and they’ve helped to make that happen.
“I’m not sure they realise how much their support means to me and my family, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.
“This campaign has given me something to focus on and people’s support is helping me so much.”