Families whose loved ones donated the gift of life to others have been recognised in a ceremony on the Island. The award takes the form of a pin badge and a scroll signed by The Grand Prior of the Order of St John.
The Order of St John Award for Organ Donation honours the incredible gift donors and their families in the UK make by donating their organs to save and improve the lives of others.
It is awarded posthumously to organ donors and received by their family on their behalf. The award was launched by the international humanitarian charity the Order of St John and NHS Blood and Transplant in 2013.
3 families attended the ceremony at Haseley Manor, Arreton to receive certificates and badges from Mr Peter Grimaldi DL FRCS, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight and Mr Anthony Roberts OBE FRCS, County Priory Group Chairman of the Order of St John.
People recognised at the ceremony were:
- Sylvia Williams, of Lake, who received the award on behalf of her husband Ian ‘Billy’ Williams
- Mike Packman, of Havenstreet, who received the award on behalf of his wife Paula Packman
- Ellen Turner, who received the award on behalf of her husband Noel Turner
Anthony Roberts said:
“Whilst it is sad time for those receiving these honours, the awards recognise the selflessness of the individuals who have given life to others, and they provide some comfort to their loved ones. The Order of St John encourages everyone to sign the NHS Organ Donation Register and join the more than 55,000 people on the Island who are already registered.”
There are more than the average number of people on the Island registered on the Organ Donor Register compared to the rest of the UK. The percentage of Isle of Wight residents on the Organ Donor Register is 39.8%, compared to 35.7% for the UK as a whole. On the Island there are 55,958 people on the Organ Donor Register.
There are 19 people on the Isle of Wight waiting for a transplant. Last year, 6 people living in the Isle of Wight had a transplant thanks to a deceased organ donation – and in the past 5 years a total of 28 people on the Isle of Wight have had a transplant thanks to deceased organ donations. In the last 5 years, 5 people on the Island have died while on the waiting list for a transplant.
Mick Willcox, Specialist Nurse – Organ Donation, of NHS Blood and Transplant, who covers the Island, said:
“We work closely with staff at Isle of Wight NHS Trust and the family of friends of everyone who is able to donate. The sense of pride families feel at these ceremonies is truly inspirational. Families take great comfort from knowing that their loved one went on to save and improve the lives of desperately ill people.
“Every day across the UK three people die in need of an organ transplant. When making a New Year resolution for 2017 please consider making joining the Organ Donation Register your first one for the New Year, and make sure you tell your family you decision.”
Join the NHS Organ Donor Register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or telephone 0300 123 23 23.