Mother given award after daughter’s gift

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A total of 13 people from the North East, including one from Alnwick, who gave the ultimate gift of life through organ donation, have been honoured posthumously.

The Order of St John award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, has been presented to the families and loved ones of those who saved and improved people’s lives through organ donation.

The private ceremony was held at the Civic Centre in Newcastle with the awards presented by the city’s Lord Mayor, Coun Ian Graham.

Hundreds of families are attending regional ceremonies across the UK between September and December to receive the award in memory of their loved ones.

One of those recognised, but who was not in attendance at the ceremony in Newcastle, was Maureen Holdsworth, who received the award on behalf of her daughter, Keri Victoria Holdsworth, from Alnwick.

NHS Blood and Transplant and the Order of St John are keen to recognise the incredible gift that donors and their families have made by donating their organs to give hope and save and improve the lives of others.

Ian Mackenzie, chairman of the local County Priory Group of the Order of St John, said: “Organ donation can clearly save lives and it is also vitally important to say thank you to the families whose loved ones have already donated their organs to assist others.

“With around three people dying every day due to the shortage of organs, these donors and their families have carried out an inspirational act to help others to live.”