King’s team coordinator donated organs

Kate Hatherell donated her organs and transformed the lives of four others

Kate Hatherell

In August last year, 31-year-old Kate Hatherell from Archway in north London died from a fatal asthma attack while she was out with friends near King’s College Hospital, where she worked.

Kate joined the organ donation register at the age of 17 and her family knew that she would have wanted to donate her organs to benefit the lives of those in need.

Kate, who worked at King’s in an array of different roles, most recently as a multidisciplinary team coordinator, transformed the lives of four others by donating her heart, liver, pancreas and both kidneys.

Kate’s mother, Nicky Hatherell, said: “Kate lived life to the full; she’s the only person we have ever known to be able to pack 25 hours into 24 on a regular basis! She died as she lived – by giving generously.

“Before working at King’s, she worked with me at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth and she saw many people she came to think of as friends die waiting for transplants. We knew that she would have wanted to give her organs and were proud to discover that she had registered herself as a donor.

“It’s so important to tell your family about your wishes should you die as they’re the ones who have to make the decision when it comes down to it.

Kate was cared for at the Intensive Care Unit at King’s before she died. Nicky added: “We are so glad that she was in the vicinity of King’s when it happened. It meant that all her friends and colleagues at the hospital were able to say their goodbyes. It was such a privilege to see so many people trooping by her bedside - from top management and consultants right down through the ranks - almost 100 people.”

This week is Organ Donation Week – a national NHS campaign that asks people to talk to their families about organ donation to increase the number of people whose lives can be saved or transformed by a transplant. Nationally, three people die every day in need of an organ, and there are around 1,255 in London on the transplant waiting list.

Families will always be approached about donation if a loved one can donate their organs. Knowing what their loved one would have wanted can help families make a decision at a difficult time.

Currently around 2.6million people in London are on the NHS Organ Donor Register but it is vital that people also tell their family they want to donate because families can refuse to consent, even if the person is on the register.

Mark Whitehouse, a Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at King’s, who was involved in the organ donation process with Kate’s family, said: “We really need more people in London to have these conversations with their families and talk about organ donation, so that we can increase the number of lifesaving transplants.”

For further information please contact:
Molly Downing
Communications Officer
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 3257

Notes to editors

1. King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s largest and busiest teaching hospitals, training over 900 dentists, 750 doctors and 300 nurses every year. The Trust is recognized internationally for its work in liver disease and transplantation, neurosciences, cardiac, haemato-oncology, stroke and major trauma. On 1 October 2013, King’s took over the running of the Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and Orpington Hospital, as well as some services at Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup. The new enlarged organisation has over 10,500 staff and provides over 1 million patient contacts a year. 9,000 babies are delivered by our hospitals each year, and over 750 patients come to our Emergency Departments every day. For more information, please visit the website. You can also support the work of King’s College Hospital at

2. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering collaboration between King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

King’s Health Partners is one of only six Department of Health-designated AHSCs in England and brings together an unrivalled range and depth of clinical and research expertise, spanning both physical and mental health. Our combined strengths will drive improvements in care for patients, allowing them to benefit from breakthroughs in medical science and receive leading edge treatment at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our partnership brings together...

  • three of the UK’s leading NHS Foundation Trusts;
  • one of the top 30 universities in the world;
  • services provided over 225 locations, including seven hospitals and community and mental health centres;
  • 2.2 million patient contacts each year;
  • 31,000 staff;
  • 25,000 students;
  • a combined annual turnover of £2.8bn.

... to advance health and wellbeing by integrating world-class research, care and teaching.

3. At King’s College Hospital we fundraise for the best in treatment, research and health education, leading-edge equipment and improving well-being in our communities. By uniting doctors, nurses, researchers and academics with our supporters and volunteers we can provide the best patient care that goes above and beyond. Find out more and support us at