Norfolk horse rider's organ donation helps four people

PUBLISHED: 13:57 04 January 2013

GIFTS OF LIFE: James Savory.

GIFTS OF LIFE: James Savory.

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A Norfolk horse rider who died following a fall has given the precious gift of life to a man needing a heart transplant, we can reveal today.

Also, a man in his late teens, who has suffered from cystic fibrosis since birth, had a double-lung transplant and two men – one in his 30s and one in his 60s – benefited from kidney transplants following the death of James Savory, who was on the organ donor register.

Mr Savory, a 59-year-old father-of-three, from Wickmere, between Aylsham and North Walsham, died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on July 29 last year after falling from his horse the day before. Simon Evans, a chartered surveyor who owned the yard near Mr Savory’s home where he kept his horse, described him at the inquest in Norwich as a “competent novice” rider.

On July 28, Mr Savory arrived at the livery yard at 9.50am to go for a ride. After riding around the school for 20 minutes, he said he was going to ride around a nearby field. Mary Watson-Chadwick, who worked at the yard helping to care for the horses, told the hearing that Mr Savory left but his horse came back alone at 10.55am.

She said Mr Savory had been having horse riding lessons and he was progressing well.

“He went out on his horse around the edge of the field and I said I would wait at the yard until he came back. He had been gone for about five minutes when the horse came back,” she said.

Ms Watson-Chadwick alerted Mr Evans who immediately went out to look for Mr Savory.

Mr Evans said: “I got in my car and set off to find him. I found him on the margin of a field about three quarters of a mile away.”

He attempted resuscitation and called an ambulance. The air ambulance arrived at 11.17am and Mr Savory was taken to the N&N where he died the following day.

A post mortem revealed he died from a brain injury.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said: “He died accidentally as a result of falling from his horse.

“One life has been saved and the quality of three other lives have been immeasurably enhanced. I want to express my sympathy to his widow Sharon. He was a man of great ability and great distinction.

“His memory will be treasured.”

A letter from the NHS Transplant service to Mr Armstrong, read out during the inquest, said: “A young man in his 20s received a heart transplant, without which he wouldn’t have survived. He was one of the highest priority transplant patients at the time. He is now doing well.”

Speaking after the inquest, Mr Armstrong added: “It’s important people are aware of organ donation.”

He said it was important for coroners to let the public know when organ donations had taken place “in the hope that it will encourage people to consider donation”.

Mr Armstrong added that it was a personal choice but he hoped it would bring the issue to people’s attention.

Mr Savory was born into a farming family and grew up near Saxlingham, near Holt. He followed in his father Peter’s footsteps and read law at Queen’s College Cambridge. He worked as a tax partner at Slaughter and May, a City of London law firm.

He left the firm in 1996 to work in-house at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell before he left to become head of practice development in Allen & Overy’s tax team. He set up Centre For Change, a professional development organisation, with his close friend, Chris Hadfield, some 16 years ago.

Paying tribute to his close friend and business partner, Mr Hadfield said: “He became one of the leading tax lawyers of his generation.

“He moved on to become a much sough-after coach, trainer and facilitator for Centre for Change and later a mediator for Rapproache.”

Mr Hadfield said his friend had many interests including horse riding, sailing, surfing and tai chi.

“He thoroughly enjoyed living in Wickmere and being part of the community.

“He is survived by a widow and three children who he was immensely proud of. He was a remarkable man and is greatly missed by family and friends.”

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