Two from Oldham honoured posthumously for their organ donation

Date published: 21 January 2019

Two people from Oldham are among several from Greater Manchester who have been posthumously recognised for saving lives through organ donation.

Kevin McMylor received the award on behalf of his sister, Bernadette.

Christine Squibbs was given the honour on behalf of her husband, Terence.

They received the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation at a ceremony at the Chetham School of Music.

It was run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, which was given to their families and loved ones on their behalf.

It recognises those who donated their organs after their death last year, leading to thousands of people across the country being saved or having their lives transformed.

The number of deceased donors in the UK went up by 11 per cent last year, to a total of 1,574.

That’s also the highest ever number in the country.

There are now more than 25 million people signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

But still around 6,100 people on the UK transplant waiting list and it’s estimated three people die each day in need of an organ.

NHS Blood and Transplant is hoping the actions of those honoured at the ceremony inspire others to sign up.

Tony Shepherd, Head of County Priory Group Affairs for the Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work with NHS Blood and Transplant to run the Organ Donor Awards for a sixth year and to meet the inspirational families attending the ceremonies.

“Organ donation can clearly save lives and it is a genuine privilege to be able to say thank you to these families, whose loved ones have already donated their organs to save other people’s lives.

“People are still dying every day because some families are not talking about donation.

“We hope the example set by the organ donors whose lives we are honouring in Greater Manchester encourages many others to join the NHS Organ Donor Register.

“It only takes two minutes to join the millions of other people who want to save lives.”

Anthony Clarkson, Interim Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “The pride families feel at these ceremonies is inspirational.

“Transplant patients tell us that organ donors and their families are heroes.

“This award is a chance for us all to recognise their bravery and generosity, and their amazing contribution to society.

“More and more people are supporting organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage of donors.

“We hope these awards will inspire other people in Greater Manchester to tell their families they want to save lives.

“Telling your family what you want makes things easier at a difficult time.

“Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps families in their grieving process and we don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to donate.”

People are being urged to sign up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.