AN organ donor who gave the gift of life to others after her death has been nominated for an award.
Gillian Lyon died in October, just hours after suffering bleeding on the brain.
In keeping with their daughter’s wishes, her parents Sandra and Ian Burn allowed the 42-year-old’s organs to be donated.
Earlier this year, the couple received a letter from a 61-year-old woman whose life was saved after she was given one of Gillian’s kidneys.
Now Gillian has been put forward for an Order of St John award after being nominated by NHS Blood and Transplant.
Mrs Burn, 60, of South Shields, said: “The family received a letter to say Gillian had been nominated for an award.
“I thought at first it was someone playing a sick hoax, but it all checked out. I couldn’t believe it.
“I felt so proud. Gillian had signed up to the register, and we had no idea until the nurses came in to ask if we would consider donating her organs. When we found out she was a donor, we had to carry out her wishes.
“It made us so proud when we were told she had saved someone’s life, but now this – we are just overwhelmed.”
Gillian’s family were told how the recipient of their daughter’s kidney previously had to spend each night hooked up to a dialysis machine to help keep her alive.
But following her transplant, she is now looking forward to going back to work at a cancer charity shop. The Order of St John UK award aims to honour those who have donated their organs for the purpose of transplantation following their death.
A ceremony at which Mrs Burn will be presented with her daughter’s award is expected to take place before the end of the year.
Earlier this year, Mrs Burn and her family gave their backing to the lifesaving campaign In Miley’s Memory, launched to encourage people to sign up to the organ donation register.
The Gazette-backed campaign was started by the family of South Shields baby Miley Turbitt, who suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and died, at the age of 14 weeks, after a Europe-wide search for a donor heart failed to find one in time.
n Anyone who would like to sign up to become an organ donor can call 0300 123 2323 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor