THE family of a man who was brutally murdered have revealed his death saved four lives – after his organs were donated.
Stewart Rexter was stabbed in the head with a screwdriver by Scott Agnew last November over an alleged £400 debt.
The 38-year-old died in hospital two days later.
Now Stewart’s grieving family have spoken for the first time about their ordeal – and the pride they feel in knowing their son and brother lives on in four other people.
Dad Dennis, 60, stepmum Lily, 64, and brother Karl, 42, said the gesture was typical of Stewart, who they described as a generous soul determined to see the good in others.
Speaking to The Sunday Post from their home in Cumbernauld, Dennis said: “He was attacked on the Thursday and was pronounced clinically dead on the Saturday afternoon – that’s when the nurse approached us to tell us he was on the donor register.
“So we went from the depths of being told he was dead, to seeing there could be a positive outcome to his life.
“It was just like we were getting a light – he could save somebody else’s life. He’s lost his own life, but he’s going to save somebody else’s. It’s just such an uplifting feeling.
“Obviously losing your son – you’ve got nothing. But then you have this feeling that there are four other people who are alive because of him.
“There was no hesitation on our part to agree to everything. That was Stewart – even if he had nothing, he would still try to give you it.”
Lily added: “Although he died, he transformed the lives of four people.”
Unknown to his family, Stewart had signed up to become an organ donor 20 years ago and had reaffirmed his wishes with his doctor a year before he died.
His kidney, liver and both lungs have been given to four different individuals, changing their lives for ever.
It’s a welcome ray of hope after an unbearably hard year for his family.
Stewart’s killer Scott Agnew, 29, was found guilty at Livingston High Court earlier this week after the jury took less than three hours to deliver a unanimous verdict. He will be sentenced at Edinburgh High Court next month.
Now the trial is over, Stewart’s family said they can begin to rebuild their lives with the knowledge his death had helped save others. Lily described it as a “year that’s been lost”.
Dennis added: “It basically stops your life. Everything you used to enjoy doing – it becomes immaterial. It doesn’t matter any more.”
Karl said he would remember his brother as a friendly, happy-go-lucky person, adding: “He didn’t see the bad in folks. He would make pals and he would find the best in people – and he’d find a pal anywhere.
“There were so many people who knew and cared about him.”
Dennis added: “I always remember him when he was younger – a cheeky wee boy with a smile on his face.”
Scotland has the highest donor sign-up rate in the UK.
But with around 540 people waiting for a life-saving transplant, experts warn it’s still not enough.
Rachel Seligman, specialist nurse in organ donation at NHS Blood & Transplant, said: “Organ donation saves lives. Please join the NHS organ donor register – it only takes two minutes.”