George Shelley has revealed that his late sister Harriet’s donated heart has saved a life via a transplant, five months after she was tragically killed in a road accident.
On Friday night, the grieving Union J singer, 24, took to Instagram to share a snapshot of himself flanked by his sister and brother as he made the revelation.
He wrote: ‘Every three minutes someone dies from heart or circulatory disease in the UK. My baby sister may not be with us in her Earth bound form anymore, but her heart still beats on, giving life to someone else who’s heart was failing.’ [sic]
‘Her hreat beats on’: George Shelley has revealed that his late sister Harriet’s donated heart has saved a life, via a transplant – five months after she was killed in a road accident
The singer concluded the heartfelt message: ‘What an honour. You had the biggest heart I have ever known. We love you miss you, always. #HeartForHeart.’
Pop star George’s sister was tragically killed on April 28, after she was struck by a car when she stepped out from behind the tour bus of rapper Stormzy, an inquest heard.
Harriet Shelley, 21, suffered fatal head injuries in the collision with a VW Beetle outside the O2 Academy in Bristol shortly before midnight.
The university student, who was out with friends, had drunk at least four large glasses of vodka and coke before the accident, Avon Coroner’s Court heard.
Revelation: The Union J singer made the revelation on Friday night, when he shared a shot with of himself with his sister and brother on Instagram
Saving a life: The 24-year-old singer wrote that his sister’s heart has given ‘life to someone else [whose] heart was failing’
Toxicology tests taken after the incident revealed Harriet had a reading of 235mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, almost three times the drink-drive limit for motorists.
She died at Southmead Hospital in Bristol eight days later and the cause of death was given as ‘severe traumatic brain injury’.
Harriet, from Clevedon, North Somerset, had been due to graduate from Birmingham University with a first class degree in midwifery.
‘Our Harriet was a beautiful young woman with a huge lust for life and had great ambitions,’ her family said afterwards. Throughout her time at Birmingham, she delivered countless babies into the world and touched many lives.
Lust for life: George’s family has described Harriet as having had a ‘huge lust for life’. The siblings are seen together when younger
‘What happened on that night was an accident in all respects. We as a family do not blame anyone, or look to point the finger.’
Hundreds of people attended Harriet’s funeral and her elder brother George, who rose to fame after appearing on the X Factor in 2012, sang a song he had written as a tribute.
Eyewitnesses said they saw Harriet step out from between a stationary lorry and the coach into the road without looking, giving motorist Claire Webster no chance of avoiding a collision.
Harriet’s friend, Florence Anstey, said the pair had been drinking at home before being dropped off in the city to go to the Ramshackle club night.
Careers: Harriet was a midwifery student, while her brother went on to become a pop singer
‘We got out of the car and went to queue up. Harriet was leaning against the wall, obviously very drunk and I asked her if she was all right and she said yes,’ Florence said in a statement.
‘I then started to talk to another friend when Harriet ran off. I thought she was going off to be sick or go to the loo.
‘After a few minutes, she had not returned and I said I would look for her. Near the bus, I saw a girl on the ground with a group of people around her. I saw it was Harriet.’
The area around the O2 Academy was busy as more than 2,000 people had been attending a gig by grime artist Stormzy.
We are family: George, aged eight, with his family, brother Tom Harris, mother Toni, brother William and sister Harriet
Miss Webster was driving at 16mph on a road with a 20mph speed limit when the accident happened.
‘Going past the buses I heard a bump on the passenger side of the car,’ she said in a written statement. ‘I didn’t feel the car had hit anything but I looked in my rear view mirror and saw an arm in the air and realised somebody had been hit by my car.
‘I did not see the female and she must have come out of the gap between the lorry and the coach. I didn’t have time to react or take any avoiding action.’
Pedestrian Daniel Light, who witnessed the collision, told the hearing: ‘I saw a female walk out between the gap.
Venue: The accident happened outside Bristol’s O2 Academy, where Stormzy was performing
‘She did not appear to look before walking out and the next thing I saw was a car hitting the female.’
Collision investigator Pc Richard Hignett said the incident was captured on a dashcam fitted to the lorry that Miss Shelley had stepped out in front of.
He said Miss Shelley was walking fast when attempted to cross the road between the two vehicles and did not stop to look.
‘In my opinion, having done this role for a long time, that (the alcohol level) would have affected her judgment,’ he said.
He added that he did not believe Miss Webster could have done anything to avoid the collision.
Tribute: Hundreds of people attended Harriet’s funeral and her elder brother George, who rose to fame after appearing on the X Factor in 2012, sang a song he had written as a tribute
Dr Peter Harrowing, the assistant coroner for Avon, recorded a narrative conclusion, saying Harriet died from head injuries following a road accident.
‘Even though Miss Webster reacted with such speed, she could do nothing to avoid the collision with Harriet,’ he said.
‘I consider that on the balance of probabilities that even if Harriet was a regular drinker of alcohol, that level of alcohol would have significantly impaired her judgement.’
The inquest heard that Harriet’s organs were donated to five people, including a baby.
Rise to fame: George rose to fame with his Union J bandmates (l-r) JJ Hamblett, Josh Cuthbert and Jaymi Hensley