Eight-year-old pens touching letter to donor family to say 'thank you for saving mummy's life'

Jane Holmes and daughter Maisie with the daughter of her organ donor, Ella Murtha. Credit: SWNS

An eight-year-old girl has penned a moving letter to the family of the woman who donated her lungs so her mum could live.

Maisie Holmes' mum Jane was diagnosed with the rare lung disorder pulmonary primary hypertension while pregnant with Maisie and her twin brother Aaron.

Her condition deteriorated quickly after giving birth at 28 weeks and led to her needing a double lung transplant.

But her life was saved by Tish Murtha who died suddenly in 2013 from a brain aneurysm the day before her 57th birthday.

A young Tish Murtha whose lungs were donated to Jane Holmes. Credit: SWNS

Tish wasn't on the donor register, but her daughter Ella wanted to turn the tragedy into a story of hope.

So she gave permission for her mum's organs to be used to save others.

Jane, now 43, said: "Ella told me she had decided to try and use her tragedy to help other people."

But unbeknown to Jane, her daughter Maisie wrote a letter to Tish's family thanking them for "letting your mum save my mummy's life".

The letter written by Maisie Rice to say thank you to Ella Murtha. Credit: SWNS

Jane said at first she didn't know what her young daughter had written but later discovered her beautiful words.

The letter led to Jane and her family, from Hornsea, East Yorkshire, meeting Ella and they are now firm friends.

Jane said: "It's difficult to know how to describe it. There were tears and there was laughter. It was very emotional."

Jane Holmes (left) and Ella Murtha. Credit: SWNS

Following that first meet, Ella and Jane have met on a number of occasions and she has also met another woman who received Tish's kidney and pancreas.

The three of them have affectionately dubbed themselves the "unbiological sisters".

Jane said: "It's great to be in touch with Ella and Teresa, who received two of Tish's other organs. The three of us have become really close."

She is now urging others to join the organ donation register and to inform their families of their choice.

"It was because of this organ donation that I'm still here," she said.