Organ donors from Northamptonshire have been posthumously honoured at an awards ceremony for saving lives.
Families received the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation on behalf of their loved ones.
The private award ceremony was held at St John Ambulance in Milton Keynes on June 15 where eight organ donors from Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire were honoured.
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The Order of St John Award for Organ Donation 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’. The award can be received at a regional ceremony or sent to the family privately. They are open to people of all faiths or of no faith.
Mick Messinger Chancellor of the Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John, said: “It is so important to recognise all organ donors and it is an inspiration to meet the families attending the ceremonies.
“Organ donation saves lives, and it is a genuine privilege to be able to say thank you to these families, whose loved ones have had such an impact on others.”
Even though the law around organ donation has changed to an opt out system, the NHS says families will still be consulted so it is important to still register wishes.
Anthony Clarkson director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant said: “The pride families feel at these moving ceremonies truly is inspirational. Transplant patients tell us that organ donors and their families are heroes and the Order of St John award is a chance for us all to recognise them and their amazing contribution to society.
“We hope these awards will inspire other people in Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire to tell their families they want to save lives.
“Families say donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grief and we want to ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to donate and save lives.”
For more information about organ donation, or to register your organ donation decision, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.