Special award given to organ donor’s family

A North Shields man has been posthumously honoured at a moving award ceremony for helping save lives through organ donation.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 15 April, 2019, 10:41
The award memento featuring the heart logo backed by the Maltese Cross given out to families of organ donors. Picture by Theodore Wood.

Family representatives were on hand to receive the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant.

Among those honoured at the private award ceremony in Newcastle was Michael Davis, from North Shields, whose mother Margaret received the award on his behalf.

The award memento features the organ donation heart logo backed by the Maltese Cross – which is used by the Order of St John – above the words ‘add life, give hope’.

Last year a total of 1,574 people donated their organs after death, leading to thousands of patients’ lives being saved or transformed.

Tony Shepherd, Head of County Priory Group Affairs for the Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work with NHS Blood and Transplant to run the Organ Donor Awards for a sixth year and to meet the inspirational families attending the ceremonies.

“Organ donation can clearly save lives and it is a genuine privilege to be able to say thank you to these families, whose loved ones have already donated their organs to save other people’s lives.

“People are still dying every day because some families are not talking about donation.

“We hope the example set by the organ donors whose lives we are honouring in Newcastle encourages many others to join the NHS Organ Donor Register. It only takes two minutes to join the millions of other people who want to save lives.”

Anthony Clarkson, Interim Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “The pride families feel at these ceremonies is inspirational. Transplant patients tell us that organ donors and their families are heroes.”

This award is a chance for us all to recognise their bravery and generosity, and their amazing contribution to society.

“More and more people are supporting organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage of donors.

“We hope these awards will inspire other people in Tyne and Wear to tell their families they want to save lives. Telling your family what you want makes things easier at a difficult time.

“Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps families in their grieving process and we don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to donate.”