Brenda Fisher honoured for saving lives

Date published: 30 November 2017

Ian Fisher, from Middleton, received the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation on behalf of his wife, Brenda Marie Fisher, of Middleton who saved a life through the gift of organ donation.

The Order of St John Award for Organ Donation is run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, which is given to their families and loved ones on their behalf.

The private award ceremony was held at Chetham school of Music, in Manchester City Centre.

Hundreds of families are receiving the award at regional ceremonies held across the UK between September and December.

The awards recognise the 1,413 people who donated their organs after death last year, leading to thousands of patients' lives being saved or transformed.

During 2016/17, thanks to the generosity of these donors and the support of their families, the number of deceased donors in the UK went up from 1,364 to 1,413, a rise of four per cent. There are now more than 23.6m people on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

However, there are still around 6,400 people on the UK transplant waiting list and around three people die each day in need of an organ.

NHS Blood and Transplant is calling for people to be inspired by the actions of the donors honoured at this ceremony. Everyone in the UK is urged to talk about organ donation with their families and join the Organ Donor Register. One day it could be someone you love, or even you, in need of a transplant.

Tony Shepherd, Head of Priory Affairs for the Priory of England and the Islands 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 fifth year and to meet the inspirational families attending the ceremonies. 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 2017 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.”

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 Manchester 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. Please join the NHS Organ Donor Register at”

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’. The award can be received at a regional ceremony or sent to the family privately. This is the fifth year the awards have been made. They are open to people of all faiths or of no faith.

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit or call 0300 123 2323.

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