'Hero' who died after being attacked in supermarket saves teen's life with organ donation
PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:02 26 December 2019
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'Thank you so much, your son is my liver donor, my hero - I will cherish forever his precious gift'.
These 19 heartfelt words from a grateful teenager who has been given a second chance at life are bittersweet for the mother of Nick Rogers who died after being attacked in Morrisons supermarket in Wymondham in July 2017.
They are contained in a beautiful card Sue Rogers, Nick's heartbroken mum, received out of the blue in July this year on the anniversary of his death, when she was going to release balloons in her son's memory.
Following his tragic death, many of the 26-year-old's organs were donated to others - including a teenage girl who suffered from a liver disease from birth and needed a transplant at 13.
The mother of the teen, who received Nick's liver, said that since receiving the "precious gift" just days after his death, her daughter has been a "young, healthy teenager enjoying life to the fullest".
She wrote: "I know there are no words that can truly express my feelings for your family. It takes a special kind of person to make such a sacrifice in your time of grief.
"The reason I am writing this is to say thank you and thank you doesn't seem to say enough.
"The importance and immense meaning of the gift you and your son has given to my daughter truly cannot be expressed in words.
"Your son will carry on living through my daughter and she will never waste a moment of it."
She added: "We will always be grateful for her second chance of life.
"Thank you so much for raising a son who knew what his gift would mean to others."
For Sue, now 48, who still lives in the town, the card stirs up mixed emotions.
Miss Rogers, a beautician, said: "I can't really appreciate that someone has gained from the loss of him - I don't think I'm 100pc there yet.
"Knowing that they are moving around with something that belonged to him... I just hope it serves them well and they go and live a life that he never had.
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"One day I hope I get to meet them and see them thrive but that's down the line."
The girl is one of at least four people who have gone onto benefit from Nick's tragic death.
Before the fatal night, Nick had turned his life around, losing 10 stone in weight and training to be a bouncer.
He was on the way to the gym to work out when he nipped into Morrisons around 7pm, only to encounter Lee Monk - who he had fallen out with before - where they had a row that rapidly escalated into a fight.
Shocking CCTV shows Nick being punched to the floor, before he was kicked in the back of the head by Monk.
Somehow managing to pull himself to his feet, Nick staggered a short distance, before collapsing and losing consciousness - only to die in hospital the next day.
In February last year Monk, then 20, was sentenced to 11 years in prison after being found guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter having originally being charged with murder.
Miss Rogers said: "What happened that day, I still can't think about it.
"Our lives have stood still for two and a half years."
Three months ago Miss Rogers said she saw Lee Monk's father and he spent half an hour telling her "how sorry he was and that it should never have happened".
Although it has been almost impossible to carry on, Miss Rogers has for the love of her two other children Hope, 18, and Cameron, 19, who were instrumental in helping to decide that Nick's organs should be donated.
She said: "His brother and sister have been amazing, they are a credit to him.
"I don't know where I would be if I didn't have them - they have been rocks.
"It's the first time we've actually had a tree up in two years.
"They deserve to have a Christmas, they deserve to have a life and have good things. And that's what makes me wake up every day to restart."