Receiving his award: Archie Duckworth

RELATIVES of individuals who have saved lives through organ donation were honoured at a special awards ceremony in Cardiff, on Monday 9th October.

St John Cymru-Wales has worked with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) since 2012 to recognise the incredible gift that donors and families make, by consenting to donate their organs to save the lives of others.

Given in the name of Her Majesty The Queen, 23 families from all over Wales received a specially designed pin and citation.

Hundreds of families are receiving the award at regional ceremonies held across the UK between September and December. The awards recognize the 1,413 people who donated their organs after death last year, leading to thousands of patients’ lives being saved or transformed.

The Welsh ceremony was held in the President’s Lounge, Principality Stadium, with the awards presented by Wales international, and British and Irish Lions star, Jonathan Davies.

Keith Dunn OBE, Chief Executive for St John Cymru-Wales, said:

“This national award has been developed in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant to recognise the vital contribution that organ donors have made, to give hope to others in need.

“St John Cymru-Wales felt it was important to say thank you to the families whose loved ones have given the ultimate gift. Their generosity is an inspiration to us all.

“I’d like to thank the Welsh Rugby Union and NHSBT for their assistance in helping us to hold this year’s awards ceremony.”

People recognised at the Principality Stadium ceremony included:

· Archie Duckworth from Llanelli who received the award on behalf of his father, Scott Duckworth, of Llanelli

Sally Johnson, 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.

“We hope these awards will inspire other people in Wales to tell their families that, should they die in circumstances where they could become a donor, then their wish to be a lifesaver would be carried out. Families tell us donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grieving process and we don’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to donate.”

Martyn Phillips, Group Chief Executive, Welsh Rugby Union, said:

“The Welsh Rugby Union is honoured to be once again supporting this event. We know the difference that organ donation makes to the people of Wales, and in particular during the coming year when St John Cymru-Wales will be celebrating its Centenary.”

The award memento features the organ donation heart logo backed by the Maltese Cross – which is used by the Order of St John – above the words ‘add life, give hope’.

You can register a decision on organ donation at any time by visiting www.organdonationwales.org or calling 0300 123 23 23 or by telling your family and friends.

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