Cathedral service honours organ donors and celebrates life
PUBLISHED: 09:45 22 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:46 22 May 2019
People who have had organ transplants in Cambridgeshire were joined by the families of organ donors at Ely Cathedral for a special service of remembrance and thanksgiving.
Around 1,000 guests attended alongside patients who have received life-saving transplants at Papworth and Addenbrooke's Hospitals.
Kate Stockley's husband Paul donated his organs after he died from a stroke in 2017.
Kate said that Paul's to donate reflected his "attitude and beliefs".
"Paul's donation gave me great comfort at a time of shock and sadness," she said.
"Paul was a kind, generous man who was happy to help anyone. His wish to donate reflected his attitude and beliefs.
"I was not aware how many organs could be used, not just for one recipient but potentially for improving several people's lives.
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"The support I received from the organ donation nurses was faultless and respectful. I now carry a donor card and encourage people to think about organ donation and talk about it with their loved ones."
During the service three candles were lit to represent the new chance of life that a transplanted organ brings to a recipient.
Michelle Hemmings, who had a lung transplant at Papworth Hospital, lit a candle on behalf of transplant recipients.
Currently three people a day will die in need of a transplant.
Michelle said: "From the bottom of my heart, I thank the donors and their families very much for giving me the chance, and I am so very grateful to my consultants, surgeons and nurses and Papworth Hospital."
Canon precentor at Ely Cathedral, Dr James Garrard, said: "Celebrating the vision and generosity of organ donors is a way of celebrating one of the most important things in our society - the willingness of countless men, women and children to think and act selflessly.
"We are honoured to be hosting this very special service to acknowledge and remember all of those who have been affected by organ donation as a sign of hope and inspiration to us all."
To find out more visit: www.nhsbt.nhs.uk