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Loving wife’s heart, kidneys and liver donated to help others
SPECIAL AWARD: Bereaved relatives of Linda Taylor who donated her organs so that others could live, from left, brother Granville Parsons, sister Carol Roberts, Lord-Lieutenant Timothy Cox, sister Jane Smith and her husband John Taylor.
A FAMILY who donated a lost loved one’s organs to help others live has been honoured with a special award in her memory.
Linda Taylor, of Ombersley, near Worcester, died suddenly last summer following a brain aneurysm.
Although doctors were not able to save her, the 60-year-old care worker was able to give the gift of life to others.
As well as donating her kidneys and liver, three patches from her heart were transplanted directly into three babies.
Her family, including her 67-year-old husband John, knew Mrs Taylor wanted to be an organ donor and were keen to respect her final wishes.
Now, 18 months on, they have been honoured with a new award created by NHS Blood and Transplant and the Order of St John.
Mr Taylor, a retired driver who lives at Holt Fleet Caravan Park, in Ombersley, has become a champion for organ donation in memory of his late wife.
“It was totally unexpected, completely out of the blue,” he said, recalling the moment his wife suffered her aneurysm. “Linda had talked to me as well as her two sisters and brother about organ donation, not in great detail, but we all knew it was her wish to help others if she possibly could.
“The donor award came as a surprise, but this sort of thing is needed to help raise awareness of organ donation.”
Mr Taylor received the award at Villa Park football stadium in Birmingham, where he was accompanied by his brother-in-law Granville Parsons and sisters-in-law Carol Roberts and Jane Smith.
Between April 2012 and March this year, the families of 1,212 people in the UK agreed to donate their loved ones’ organs.
Reverend John Davis, from the Order of St John, said: “With thousands of people in the UK in need of a transplant, we felt it was important to say thank you to the families whose loved ones have already donated their organs.
“These families are an inspiration to all. With about three people dying every day due to the shortage of organs, we hope these people will encourage many more to follow in their footsteps and agree to become a donor.”
Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Losing a loved one is devastating to family and friends but it is possible even at such a terrible time, to give great happiness to others.
“We hope receiving this new award will mean a great deal to those who have lost someone close to them and also give them renewed pride in their decision to agree to donation.
“We want everyone to be proud to donate. Having a conversation about organ donation is vitally important for every family, as we know that making a decision to donate a loved one's organs is so much easier if you know what his or her wishes were.”
To join the NHS Organ Donor Register you can visit organdonation.nhs.uk, telephone 0300 123 2323 or text SAVE to 62323.
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