A lifesaving blood donation drive has been launched in memory of a tragic 21-year-old who died after hospital staff failed to give him a blood transfusion.
Evan Nathan Smith died in North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton, after dialling 999 from his temporary bed in a corridor in April 2019.
An inquest into his death heard he died of organ failure after staff delayed his treatment and did not understand his sickle cell disease.
A new campaign is urging black people to donate blood in Evan's memory in order to save lives.
The United by Blood: In memory of Evan Nathan Smith, launching today, is supported by the NHS, with donor drives to be held across the country.
He was initially denied oxygen when he asked for it after complaining of hip pain - a symptom of the disease - and called the London Ambulance Service from a temporary "lodging bed" in a corridor begging to be transferred to A&E.
But paramedics did not come because his oxygen levels were not low enough and nurses were unable to move him to an intensive care unit because no beds were available.
In a heartbreaking tribute, dad Charles Smith told the inquest that he and wife Betty were devastated that their son had been allowed to die.
He said: "Evan was an exceptionally conscientious and hardworking individual and had such a bright future ahead of him.
"Betty and I still have a lot of unanswered questions about his care and his death. We are unable to rest until we know why more was not done to save his life.
"We are therefore requesting a full and transparent investigation into our son's death."
In memory of Evan, black people aged 17-66 are being encouraged to register to donate blood in the campaign organised by three organisations - the ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust), Black Mums Upfront and CellFeForLife.
Orin Lewis OBE, ACLT Co-Founder and CEO said: “The three organisations coming together which include ACLT, Black Mums Upfront and CellFeForLife, is an opportunity for the Black community to honour this young man’s name.
"Evan’s life was tragically lost; however, his name can live on, to help save the lives of others.
"Donating blood is safe, only takes 10 minutes and can save up to three lives. Blood transfusions help to prevent or relieve the painful symptoms and complications of Sickle Cell, a disease which Evan had.
"There are 14,000 Sickle Cell patients in the UK, and it is the fastest growing blood disorder with 300 babies born each year."
Carina White, Black Mums Upfront Co-Founder, said: “Bringing these three organisations together to deliver this campaign and rally the community together is an example of how communities are stronger together.
"Evan didn’t need to die, what he needed was a blood transfusion and tragically that wasn’t afforded to him.
"Sickle Cell is a disease that affected Evan and also predominantly affects the Black community, what better way to honour his life and show Black Lives do Matter, than by donating blood to ensure other Sickle cell patients have access to blood when they need it."
Vashti-iona Beckford and Melissa Thermidor, CellFeForLife Co-Founders said: “Blood donation is a vital lifeline for many, and the best match for some comes from ethnically matched blood.
"We hope this is the beginning of normalising blood donation in the Black community. Donating is quick, easy and could save lives. Evan should be here with us today, and we are honoured to help celebrate his life while helping to save the lives of others.”
A blood donor drive will take place on Saturday June 19, which is World Sickle Cell Day, and Sunday June 20, which is Father’s Day.
United by Blood donation sessions will take place at the below locations:
Saturday June 19
London, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush Donor Centre
London, Westfield Stratford City Donor Centre
London, West End Blood Donor Centre
Manchester, Norfolk House Donor Centre
Birmingham Blood Donor Centre, New Street
Bristol Blood Donor Centre
Sunday June 20
London, Tottenham Hotspur (Football) Stadium
London, Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton
To register to donate blood and attend the United by Blood: Donating in memory of Evan Nathan Smith blood donation sessions, individuals should call the priority booking line on 0300 303 2737.
Alternatively, potential donors can visit http://bit.ly/UnitedByBlood2021 to book an appointment.