Braes family hit by second tragedy as daughter loses battle for life

Louise Gardiner (29), who died of a congenital heart problem
Louise Gardiner (29), who died of a congenital heart problem

A brave young woman finally lost her battle for life only days before Christmas and eight weeks after a heart transplant.

Louise Gardiner’s death is the second tragedy to hit her family – her older sister Lesley was killed in a car crash nine years ago.

But parents Tom and Miriam have vowed Louise’s funeral will be a celebration of her life.

Her heartbroken mum said: “She wanted the transplant to let her live all her dreams.

“We were anxious about it but she knew the risks and was determined to go ahead with it. We had to respect her wishes.”

The operation in Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital on October 31 initially went well but liver and bowel complications saw the 29-year-old lose her fight on Saturday.

Only days before, her parents had been hopeful they would eventually be able to take her home.

Miriam added: “A man who was late for his work took one daughter from us in a road accident, but we watched dozens of people try to save Louise, they were all round her hospital bed. But eventually we had to tell them to stop.

“It did give us precious time with her to say our goodbyes. However, she refused to give up and eventually I had to tell her it was alright, we knew it was her time to go.

“Her doctor was in tears that he couldn’t save her, but he gave her the chance and sadly her body couldn’t take any more.”

The couple are now back at their home in Rumford with son David (22) preparing for the funeral which will be held once a post mortem has taken place.

Lesley was only 23 when she was killed on the A801 near Bathgate in September 2004. She had been due to marry a few months later.

Her parents took the unusual step of writing to the judge at the trial of the man responsible for the crash asking for him not to be jailed. They said the driver’s family would be the ones to suffer and a prison sentence would not bring their daughter back.

He had previously admitted causing her death by dangerous driving.