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Jordan's gifts of life

PUBLISHED: 10:45 06 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:34 05 July 2010

TO the friends and family of Jordan Smith, the popular teenager was one in a million.

But this week, a grieving community had to come to terms with his sudden death from a rare condition which, in a cruel twist of fate, was "a million-to-one chance to happen in someone so young," according to doctors.

TO the friends and family of Jordan Smith, the popular teenager was one in a million.

But this week, a grieving community had to come to terms with his sudden death from a rare condition which, in a cruel twist of fate, was “a million-to-one chance to happen in someone so young,” according to doctors.

Touching tributes have been paid to 17-year-old Jordan - or Jordie, as he was known - with a memorial being set up at the scene close to Lowestoft High Street where he collapsed initially.

But his legacy will live on.

For it has emerged that lives have already been saved through donations of Jordan's organs to six other people.

His death has devastated parents Steve and Donna, who live in north Lowestoft.

“The doctors told us that Jordie was perfectly fit and healthy, and that's why he was a perfect organ donor,” Mrs Smith said.

Late yesterday it was revealed he suffered a blood clotting disorder and died of a huge stroke.

The teenager had gone out for the night with four friends playing pool on Friday. They stopped at the BP petrol station opposite the High Street. Jordan leapt over a wall but didn't return to meet up with his mates.

It is believed that while going over the wall and waiting, he suffered his first stroke and collapsed. His friends later found him on the floor and eventually woke him up before they all walked home.

On Saturday, Jordan spoke to his parents and family, and was OK - despite not feeling 100pc.

“There were no marks on him or nothing to suggest he'd collapsed, apart from his coat being dirty on one arm,” Mr Smith said.

But as the day progressed, at around 4pm the youngster suffered a “massive stroke” that ruptured the blood vessel in his neck, caused him to fit and paralysed his left hand side. He was immediately rushed to the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, where he had to be sedated to have a brain scan.

And it was here where that family was told that Jordan had “severe bleeding on the brain.” The teenager was transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, for further tests, and a possible operation, as the family were told the dreaded news that “they didn't hold much hope out for him.”

Mrs Smith said: “His brain had swelled so much it had crushed his brain stem.”

His life support machine was turned off at 1pm on Monday.

“He was probably born with this weakness and it could've happened at any time,” Mrs Smith said.

“The doctors told us it's a million to one chance to happen to someone so young - it was a freak of nature,” Mr Smith added.

Leaving behind six brothers and two sisters, Mr Smith - who owns the Skin Graphics tattoo studio, in Bevan Street, Lowestoft, and is a regular wrestler on the WAW scene - said: “We've been so touched and appreciate the flowers, messages and condolence cards we've received.”

With the date for Jordan's celebration of his life still to be confirmed Mr Smith said: “All of Jordan's friends are welcome to come, but all we ask is that instead of bringing flowers, people donate to the Addenbrooke's Hospital.”

“One of the organs went to someone who had 24 hours to live - that's a one in a million chance, with Jordi's rare blood group,” Mrs Smith said.

“It's not just the six people he has saved, it's the generations following them - this will last for hundreds of years,” Mr Smith added.

Pay your special tributes to Jordan on The Journal's website by e-mailing mark.boggis@archant.co.uk

Go to lowestoftjournal24.co.uk to view your messages via the link on the site.

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