Emneth woman Yvonne Berry honoured posthumously for ‘giving ultimate gift of life through organ donation’

St John Organ Donation awards

St John Organ Donation awards - Credit: Archant

A woman from Emneth is among 22 Cambridgeshire people who were honoured posthumously for ‘giving the ultimate gift of life through organ donation’.

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.

Among those awarded was Yvonne Berry, who lived in Emneth and died in January this year. Her award was picked up by her husband Douglas Berry.

The private award ceremony was held at the Town Hall, Bridge Street, Peterborough, on October 27 with the awards presented by Sir Hugh Duberly KCVO CBE, HM Lord Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire.

Last year, between April 2014 and March 2015, the number of deceased organ donors in the UK dropped for the first time in 11 years. Despite this fall, the Order of St John honours 1,282 people in the UK who donated their organs after death, leading to thousands of patients’ lives being saved or transformed.

Ivan Palmer MBE, JP, chairman of the Cambridgeshire 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.”

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Sally Johnson, director of Organ Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and

Transplant, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the pride and experiences shared by the hundreds of families who have accepted the award on their loved one’s behalf.

“It never ceases to amaze me just how humble people are when you speak to them about having helped to save the lives of patients who were desperately ill.”