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Ealing and Northolt residents who donated their organs after death posthumously honoured for saving lives

A man from Ealing and a woman from Northolt who saved lives by donating their organs have been posthumously honoured at a ceremony attended by friends and family. 

They received the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant. Since 2019, more than 4,000 people have donated their organs after death which has led to 10,000 patients’ lives being save or improved in these years.

At a moving ceremony, Dr Kevin David Howe and Jayshriben Shah were remembered.

Dr Kevin David Howe, 61, was from Ealing. and his award was accepted on his behalf by his wife Jeannette and mother Marlene.

Jeannette said: “I have been on the organ donor register since I started driving and have always carried the card with me. Kevin was a pharmacist and worked in medicines development and production. He was a very bright and intellectual man, but chose not to talk about organ donation. Sadly,
Kevin had cardiovascular disease. He suffered a heart attack in April 2021, from which he did not recover.

“When I was approached about organ donation I was also informed that Kevin, unbeknown to me, had joined the Organ donor register. I was so pleased to be told this. It meant we could support organ donation based on his active choice. I never felt Kevin was against organ donation. He worked in the health industry, as do I and his mum was a nurse, so Kevin was very supportive of helping people. Knowing that he was on the register did make it much easier for me as there was no decision to make. I never felt pushed or pressured into agreeing to donation, I just agreed to honour his wishes. Thinking back, I believe
that Kevin may have joined the register when he found out he had cardiovascular disease.

“Kevin was able to donate both his kidneys and tissues too. I know that both his kidneys have gone to someone of a similar age and his tissues have been saved for when a match has been found for them. Receiving the award on behalf of Kevin was lovely. Kevin’s Mum attended the ceremony with me and it was lovely for her to see Kevin be recognised in this way. The ceremony was very well done and the whole organ donation process from our first meeting with the specialist nurse to subsequent letters and support has been brilliant.

“It was very shocking to lose Kevin so suddenly and we lost him way too young. His choice of organ donation brought some comfort. I really feel it is important for families to discuss their thoughts about organ donation. I know the law has changed. However, it is so much easier for your loved ones if they already know your thoughts on organ donation.”

Jayshriben Shah, 67, was from Northolt and her award was accepted on her behalf by daughter Dimple Shah.

Dimple said: “Mum suffered a brain haemorrhage very suddenly and very unexpectedly and was rushed to hospital late one evening in September 2021. Scans were arranged to determine the damage caused to Mum’s brain and as a doctor I knew from looking over them that the outlook was not good.

“Organ donation was something I had discussed with Mum in the past and I knew what her wishes were so I approached staff at the hospital to see if organ donation was possible. Mum was able to donate her liver, heart valves and corneas helping numerous people. The recipient of her liver has also written to us which brings us some comfort.

“Receiving the award on behalf of Mum was a nice way to commemorate what she has done and gave us an opportunity to meet other donor families too.”

Mick Messinger, Chancellor of 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 Order of St John Awards for Organ Donation again. It is so important to recognise all organ donors and it is an inspiration to meet the families attending the ceremonies. Organ donation saves lives, and it is a genuine privilege to be able to say thank you to these families, whose loved ones have had such an impact on others.”

According to NHS Blood and Transplant,  one donor can save or transform up to nine lives through organ donation and save and transforms even more by donating tissue.

Anthony Clarkson, Director of Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We hope these awards will inspire other people in London to tell their families they want to save lives. Being clear with your family about what you want makes things easier at a difficult time, leave
them certain about your organ donation decision. Families say donation is a source of pride that helps them in their grief and we want to ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to donate and save lives.”

For more information about organ donation or to register visit: or call 0300 123 23 23.

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