A GRIEVING father says he is taking comfort from the knowledge his daughter's tragic death has helped save the lives of others.
Akta Patel, 20, of Rosebank Grove, Walthamstow, died after being struck by an double-decker bus on March 5 in Lancaster, where she was studying philosophy and languages.
The former Walthamstow School for Girls pupil suffered head injuries and remained in a critical condition for five days before her life-support machine was switched off.
But hours before, her parents Shashikant and Yoginiben Patel, aged 58 and 54, discovered their only child had registered as an organ donor.
After agreeing to respect her wishes, their daughter's lungs, kidneys and liver were used to prolong the lives of four people with acute illnesses.
Mr Patel, a deliveries worker for Tesco in Leytonstone, said: “In our family she's the first person to do this nice job and we are very proud of her and will never forget.
“It is our wish that people will think about becoming a donor and do the same thing.
“At this age, she was very brave to put her name on the register. She was so strong and confident and whatever she wanted to do she would do it. She was healthy, brave and intelligent.”
Mr Patel said that as many as 400 people attended his daughter's funeral at the City of London Cemetery on Friday, paying tribute to the “inspirational” and “happy” young student who was popular with her peers at Greenleaf Primary School in Walthamstow, Walthamstow School for Girls and Highams Park Sixth Form college.
Lecturers at Lancaster University wrote to the Patel family expressing their sadness at losing a “bright and intelligent” girl with a questioning nature and promising future.
Mr Patel said: “She really enjoyed school and was very studious. She was always smiling and laughing. We miss her very badly. We had lots of hope for her future. She always said she was going to look after us in our old age.
“We only had one daughter and we cannot replace her.”
Her cousin's wife, Prina Patel, 35, who has been supporting Miss Patel's parents in their time of grief, added: “We hope she's an inspiration to others because in her young life she gave so much and we hope other people join the organ register and her legacy lives on.”
The road accident took place in the early hours of March 5 when Miss Patel was on her way home after watching a show in Manchester with a friend.
The accident is under investigation by police.