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Beccles organ donor among those honoured for saving lives

PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 December 2016

George and Judi Ackland-Snow with the Order of St John Award they received on Matthews behalf. 

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

George and Judi Ackland-Snow with the Order of St John Award they received on Matthews behalf. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A Beccles man who saved lives through donating his organs has been posthumously honoured.

Matthew Ackland-Snow died in March this year aged 35 following an illness.

His family decided to fulfil what they believe he would have wanted by donating his organs and last month his father George Ackland-Snow learned his son had been honoured with an Organ Donor award.

Mr Ackland-Snow accepted the Order of St John Award on Matthew’s behalf following a ceremony held at the Great Hospital in Bishopgate, Norwich.

The awards are run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant and were held to recognise the 1,364 people who donated their organs after death last year, which has led to other patients’ lives being transformed or saved.

Mr Ackland-Snow said: 
“As far as we know it was 
just the heart used but we did give permission for all 
other organs to be used. It came to light about a month ago that he had been given 
an award and we are very proud.

“It was Matthew’s day, we were just the intermediaries and did what any other person would have done I think.”

Brigadier Alasdair Wilson, chairman of the Norfolk County Priory Group 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 fourth year and to meet the inspirational families attending the ceremony.

“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 assist others.

“In 2016 around three people still die every day due to the shortage of organ donors.

“We hope the example set by the organ donors whose lives we are honouring encourages many others to join the NHS Organ Donor Register – a process which takes just a few minutes online.”

The award 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’.

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323.

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