The widow of an Upminster man who donated his organs has urged others to do the same.

Martin Hewitt, 70, died unexpectedly on January 17 this year after suffering a severe bleed on his brain.

Born in Hornchurch in 1951, Martin left school at 16 to become a foreign exchange clerk at Thomas Cook, but quickly moved onto a job at the stock exchange, where he worked for the rest of his career.

In March 1983, he met Alison in a black cab in Upminster and the pair eventually married in 1990. They had two sons: Steven in 1989 and Philip in 1991.

Alison, 67, described her late husband as a “quiet, sort of unassuming person – always friendly, a little bit on the shy side”.

A keen sportsman, Martin enjoyed being outside and playing football, squash and snooker.

Martin’s eldest son Steven, 31, said his father would “always look out for everyone else and make sure everyone was comfortable”.

“He was happy whenever everyone else was happy,” he added.

“One of the most upsetting things was knowing he wasn’t going to be there to see [his grandson] Charlie grow up, but at the same time I am just hugely grateful that he had six years with him.”

Before his life support was switched off, Martin’s family agreed to donate his body parts to others in need as well as to medical research.

According to the Donor Family Care Service, a woman in her 30s received a life-saving liver transplant as a result, while two men in their 70s could have a kidney transplant after two years waiting.

His heart and eye tissue has been stored and will be matched for future use.

Alison said the organ donation was “fantastic” and said people "should be aware of how they can help others through doing the organ transplant”.

She praised the nurses at Queen’s Hospital who helped them through the process and urged families to have conversations about their preferences regarding organ donation.

After his death, the family set up a fundraiser in aid of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, which has so far raised £2,889. View it at

“He loved monkeys, loved gorillas, loved orangutans; always wanted to have a monkey but obviously that was never going to happen,” said Alison.

“We figured we had helped the humans and now it was time to help the animals."

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