A GP from Stockport has received the Order of St John award for Organ Donation posthumously for continuing to save lives after as an organ donor.
Dr Jonathan Owen, known as Jo, suffered a heart attack in November 2015 aged 56. He had been a GP at Manor Medical Practice in Offerton since 1998, and since 2011 was a senior partner at the practice.
His kidneys were successfully donated. Dr Owen had family friends who had undergone kidney transplants, one had died from kidney failure despite two transplants, and for another their second transplant was a success.
Dr Owen’s 16-year-old daughter Grace received the Order of St John award for Organ Donation on his behalf.
His wife Beverley, 51, a nurse practitioner at his practice, said: ‘Jo had a massive heart attack at home. We had been at a meeting the day before and he thought he had indigestion due to the awful food.
‘Despite my giving immediate CPR and an ambulance defibrillating him about six times, he did not regain consciousness. He was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital then transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital.’
She added: ‘I found the ceremony very moving and it was also shocking at the obvious young age of the donors, and how few of us donor families there were. I am happy we decided to donate this but sorry that it not possible to use more of his organs.
‘Jo is well remembered by staff and they discuss him regularly. The patients also tell me of the memories they have of him. I feel that he will never be forgotten.
‘Jo was the most wonderful, loving and caring husband and father that anyone could have wished for. There was nothing he would not do for Gracie and I, nothing was too much trouble for him.’
Darren Clark, chair of the local 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 today’s 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 today encourages many others to join the NHS Organ Donor Register – a process which takes just a few minutes online.’