Organ donors honoured for saving lives

Julie Owen Wilcock with husband Graham's parents and his two sons.
Julie Owen Wilcock with husband Graham's parents and his two sons.
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A total of 23 people who gave the ultimate gift of life through organ donation have been honoured posthumously at an award ceremony in Lancashire.

The Order of St John award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant Service, has been presented to the families and loved-ones of those who saved and improved other people’s lives through organ donation.

The award ceremony was held at County Hall in Preston with the awards presented by Margaret Brindle, chairman of Lancashire County Council.

People recognised at the ceremony in Lancashire included Julie Owen-Wilcock from Colne, who received the award on behalf of her husband Graham, Heather Scott from Nelson on behalf of her brother Kevin Rayson and Lilia Kay Conway from Burnley on behalf of her mother Katy Mae Smith,

NHS Blood and Transplant and the Order of St John are keen to recognise the incredible gift that donors and their families have made by donating their organs to give hope and save and improve the lives of others.

Iain Robertson, chairman of the local County Priory Group 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 third year.

“Organ donation can clearly save lives and it is also vitally important to say thank you to the families whose loved ones have already donated their organs to assist others.”

Sally Johnson, director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “The Order of St John award scheme has been running for the last two years.

“We have been overwhelmed by the pride and experiences shared by the hundreds of families who have accepted the award on their loved one’s behalf.

“These families deserve this honour and recognition to mark their loved ones life-saving gifts.”

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit: www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323.