Last night (Thursday 9 May) Nottingham hospital’s Organ Donation team held a special ceremony with 17 families whose loved ones donated their organs to save and improve the lives of others.
Launched in 2013, The Order of St John’s Award for organ donation honours the gift donors in the UK have given by donating the gift of life. The award, which takes the form of a pin badge and certificate signed by The Grand Prior of the Order of St John, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, and is presented to the appointed family member at the ceremony.
One of the families present at the moving ceremony, held at County Hall, West Bridgford, was the Smith family. Carol Smith, a 70-year-old retired nurse and mother to the family had signed onto the Organ Donation Register and after sadly passing away her Kidneys, Heart Tissue and Skin were donated.
Richard Smith, Carol’s son, described what this award means to them, saying “I know it’s the right decision and I know it’s what she would’ve wanted.
“At the time it was a conscious decision…because she was a nurse, she understood and sometimes saw first-hand the benefit [of organ donation].”
Carol’s daughter, Nicola said: “We absolutely knew it was what she wanted. We weren’t making the choice for her – the box was ticked.”
NUH is one of the largest organ donor hospitals in the country, with 1,600 deceased organ donors nationally in the last year. The Nottingham Kidney Transplant Unit is based at Nottingham City Hospital.
Samantha Bradshaw, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I am privileged to care for our patients and their families and the lasting legacy that each donor leaves behind impacts the lives of others.
“The Order of St John ceremony acknowledges those who have donated their organs after death to recognise the selfless act to others.”
For more information about the Order of St John UK Award visit: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/helping-you-to-decide/real-life-stories/order-of-st-john-uk-award/ and visit https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ for information on how to sign up to the Organ Donation Register.