Heart transplant hero Max, 10, adds donor’s name to new law in act of gratitude

The opt-out organ donor legislation championed by the Daily Mirror will be known as Max and Keira’s Law.

The Government’s change of name honours Max Johnson, 10, and Keira Ball, the girl of nine whose heart saved his life.

Theresa May told the Tory conference last year that the legislation was to be known as Max’s Law.

But Max announced he wanted his heroine’s name added – and Keira’s mum Loanna wrote to the PM with the same suggestion.

Both children’s families have now been told by Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price of the move.

Loanna said: “This is fantastic news. It was very important to our family that Max was behind the change. For us it means part of Keira is still here.

"It also means people will have both sides of the donor story. I think it will help them understand the change more.”

Max’s parents Emma and Paul gave their “100% blessing”.

Emma, of Winsford, Cheshire, went on: “It means Keira will never be forgotten and that her legacy lives on.”

Keira was killed in a car accident near her home at Barnstaple, Devon, in July last year.

Dad Joe took the decision to donate her organs as Loanna had been hurt in the crash and was still seriously ill in hospital.

His action helped to save or transform four other lives, including Max’s.

The 10-year-old was the face of our “Change the Law for Life” campaign before getting his new heart in August last year.

The law in both children’s names will save a further 700 lives a year, the Government predicts.

Loanna said: “That would be amazing. I’m so passionate about spreading the word on donation.”

She said her children Bradley, nine, Katelyn, 13, and Keely, 14, are “extremely excited” that their sister’s name will “live on for ever”.

The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Bill 2017-19 will mean each capable adult is presumed to be an organ donor when they die unless they opt out.

It had been set for the formality of com­­mittee stage in the Lords this week.

Then it would have gone for royal assent to become law.

But two amendments by a Tory and a DUP peer mean it will now go to committee early next year.

Its sponsor, Labour’s Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, said: “I still think the Bill is in good shape and I hope there will be no need to refer it back to the Commons.”

Mrs May said: “We know more people are willing to consider or­- ­­­gan donation than are registered donors.

“That is why we are changing the law to make it easier to donate – by presuming consent unless people opt out.

“I was reminded of the importance of this when Max visited me at No10.

“He has told of his gratitude to Keira and her family for saving his life.

“Her parents’ courage and strength is inspiring. It’s fitting we rename this im­­­por­­tant law so we can pay tribute to Keira as well as Max, to ensure her life is never forgotten.”

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