Organ donors celebrated for helping other patients

Jacqueline Barnes receiving her husband's posthumous award from Lady Romney. Photo: St John's Ambul

Jacqueline Barnes receiving her husband's posthumous award from Lady Romney. Photo: St John's Ambulance - Credit: Archant

Families from Norfolk and Suffolk have seen their loved ones become posthumously honored for donating their organs to keep other people alive.

The families received the Order of St John award for organ donation, at an event run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant.

The awards recognise the 1,364 people who donated their organs after death last year, which has led to other patients' lives transformed and/or saved.

One of the families in attendance was that of Christopher Barnes, who died from a heart-attack in February.

His wife, Jacqueline Barnes, 56, said she found some comfort in the fact that Mr Barnes was an organ donor.

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It was only during a chance conversation the week before that Mr Barnes said he wanted to be an organ donor.

Mrs Barnes said: 'The week before he had the attack we had just been watching a programme on TV and Chris said 'I'd like to be an organ donor'.

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'We didn't have any idea he was ill.

'I am struggling with him gone - we'd been together nearly 40 years.

'Having that ceremony brought a bit of closure to me - it was really nice because you thought people haven't forgotten nine months on because he must have helped a lot of people.

'I think it's very important that people are aware of organ donation. Anyone can do it.'

Other people from the region who collected awards on behalf of their loved one included: Kathleen Dudley, of Upwell, on behalf of her late husband William Dudley; Pamele Whitehead, of Kettlestone, on behalf of her late civil partner Dawn Collins; Lisa Heir, of Sheringham, on behalf of her late daughter Gina Panda Holmes; Harry Ackland-Snow, of Beccles, on behalf of his son Mathew Ackland-Snow; Elton Guillory, of West Row, on behalf of his daughter Emma Guillory; Rosemary Hoskins, on behalf of her husband Andrew Hoskins.

The award ceremony was held at the Great Hospital, Bishopgate, Norwich.

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