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Stratford man’s brave decision saved lives after his death

ADRIAN Collins was just 44 years-old when he died unexpectedly in September 2022.

He suffered from a seizure and then a stroke caused by a blockage in a stent that had been placed to treat an aneurysm. While it was a tragic loss for his family and friends, Adrian, pictured, from Stratford, had made the brave and selfless decision to donate his organs.

That decision was honoured at a private ceremony in Birmingham where Adrian’s sister, Sarah Jones, was presented with an Order of St John Award for Organ Donation. The awards, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, recognise those posthumously who have helped others.

Sarah said “Adrian was a kind, loving, thoughtful, caring and funny person – he was my little brother and uncle to my daughters who he just adored.

Adrian Collins.
Adrian Collins.

“He was just a really lovely person who would do anything for anyone. When we were asked about organ donation I knew he would have wanted to help people and would have been proud to help others.”

Sarah added: “I remembered him saying years earlier that he thought organ donation was a good thing to do and that his organs would be of no use to him.

“The staff took care of him and we played the Liverpool anthem ‘You’ll never walk alone’ while we said goodbye to him.

“Adrian donated both of his kidneys, his liver and his pancreas. Adrian’s kidneys both went to people who had been waiting some time on the transplant waiting list and his liver and pancreas both went into research programmes.

“Receiving the award on behalf of Adrian was really nice and it was lovely he was honoured in this way. As a family we are so proud of Adrian, we have his badge and certificate on display and the whole family have now all joined the organ donor register too.

“Adrian was such a giving person, and it was so hard to say goodbye to him but I was glad that he was able to go on and help people.”

Only around one per cent of people in the UK die in the circumstances to become an organ donor each year, which is why as many people as possible are encouraged to join the register and make their decision clear.

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “Organ donors and their families are truly inspirational people. Every donor transforms the lives of people they don’t know and the pride their families rightly feel is incredibly powerful.

“Patients who have received a transplant tell us that organ donors and their families are their heroes.

“The Order of St John awards, which we are proud to have been running with the Order of St John for ten years, are a chance for us all to recognise organ donors and their amazing contribution to society.”

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register, visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

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