THE generous staff, parents and pupils at a Hale school have raised a four figure sum in memory of a popular Timperley schoolboy, whose sudden death touched the nation's heart.
Five-year-old Luca Giovannini died 14 months ago within two days of becoming ill.
An infection caused a swelling of Luca’s brain which killed the St Hugh’s RC Primary School pupil.
Luca's death received national media coverage and the courage and compassion of his parents, Renzo and Vickie, earned widespread admiration, after they agreed to donate his organs - giving the gift of life to four others, including two tots.
Now pupils at Stamford Park Infant School in Hale – where Vickie is a teacher – have raised more than £1,230 for the Giovannini family’s chosen transplant charity, the Donor Family Network, in memory of Luca.
The donation was presented to the Donor Family Network at the Cedar Road school on Tuesday – bringing the amount raised for the charity by Renzo, aged 39, Vickie, 36, and their relatives, friends and supporters to a whopping £17,500.
The couple – who have a three-year-old son, Leo – are also continuing to campaign to encourage others to follow their example and join the NHS Organ Donor Register.
This week, Vickie, from Gatley, told Messenger she was delighted that the school’s parent support group (PSG) had supported their charity in tribute to their beloved little boy.
“I was so pleased they wanted to raise money in memory of Luca. It is nice to know people are still thinking of him.
“It is wonderful that the children have raised so much money for such a good cause.
“The support we have received from all the parents and staff has been phenomenal.
We are very grateful.” Vickie and Renzo continue to take comfort from the way Luca’s transplanted organs have saved and transformed the lives of four others.
A three-year-old girl who received his heart had been gravely ill. Now she lives a full life, having recently started nursery school and enjoyed a trip to Disneyland in Paris.
A three-year-old boy who received his bowel, pancreas and liver and the two adults who received his kidneys, are also doing well.
Vickie added: “Four other families have been spared from the heartache we have had to face.”
The couple hope this will help to encourage awareness of UK Organ Donor Register and encourage more people to join it.
• Only 31 per cent of the population have enrolled on the UK Organ Donor Register. Join it by calling the NHS Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23, texting SAVE to 84118 or online at organdonation.nhs.uk