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New award honors people whose organs give life to others
6:36pm Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
NORTH-EAST organ donors are among the first in the country to receive a posthumous award for giving life to others.
The Order of St John - the charity behind the ambulance service - is recognising the 1,200 people across the country whose death last year benefitted others.
One of the first local award ceremonies was held in Durham Castle, Durham City, when County Durham Deputy Lord Leiutenant Andrew Martell handed certificates and medals to seven families.
Marion and Phil Drewery, of Northallerton, lost their 15-year-old son Bobby Dennis to a brain haemorrhage.
His heart, lungs, liver and kidneys were removed and that helped three people live.
Mrs Drewery said: "It wasn't the easiest decision in the world to make but we both said just now that if we hadn't done it we would have regretted it."
She said the family had wanted some good to come out of "something so awful" and said that the award could encourage other people in a similar position to agree to organ donation.
AWARD: Marc Robinson and Leanne Douglas
Marc Robinson, of Darlington, agreed that various organs could be taken for transplant from his mother Kamsiah, of Chilton, County Durhamm after she died of a brain haemorrhage.
"We thought it was a fully responsible, very good thing to do,'' Mr Robinson said.
"We got correspondence back giving a brief overview of how everyone is doing and they are all doing well."
Mr Robinson said he thought the award was a good idea, adding: "It is nice to have something physical to hold on to to remind me of what she gave."
Mr Martell, who is also chairman of St John Ambulance in County Durham, said: “These families are an inspiration to all. With around three people dying every day due to the shortage of organs, we hope these families’ pride will encourage many more to follow in their footsteps and agree to become an organ donor.”
Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "Losing a loved one is devastating to family and friends.
"We hope receiving this new award will mean a great deal to those who have lost someone close to them and also give them renewed pride in their decision to agree to donation.
"The decision to donate their organs is an amazing legacy. We want everyone to be proud to donate."
Other relatives receiving the award iincluded: Karin Shaw, of Brandon, whose father Derek Cauwood was a donor; James Brannan, from Sacriston, whose wife Jean was a donor; Donella Gardiner, from Newton Aycliffe, whose daughter Claire Gardiner was a donor; and Karen Forth, from Sacriston, whose husband Stephen was a donor.
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300-123-2323 or text SAVE to 62323.
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