Honour in Steven’s memory for family

Janice Casey-Brown accepting the award on behalf of her son Steven Brown who died in July 2013.
Janice Casey-Brown accepting the award on behalf of her son Steven Brown who died in July 2013.

A motorcyclist who helped save the lives of five people through organ donation has been given a posthumous award.

Experienced rider Steven Brown, from Stakeford, was testing a newly fixed bike when he fell and hit his head.

Despite desperate efforts to save him, the 28-year-old passed away at the RVI in Newcastle in July last year.

Four of his organs were donated to people in the north east while another was given to someone in the south of the country.

And since his death, his family has raised thousands of pounds for transplant charity Live Life then Give Life, and his family has now accepted an award given posthumously to Steven.

Dad Sean said: “We feel very proud to receive this honour. Our Steven’s saved five lives and it won’t ever bring him back, but we know that he is out there somewhere and thanks to him there are a lot of people living lives to the fullest.

“It helps knowing that he is still out there, not physically out there, but his organs are still out there and we are proud of him for giving life to somebody else who had been suffering.

“We have had letters off the recipients, and one had cystic fibrosis who got Steven’s lungs, and he can now start planning his wedding and planning stuff which he could never do in the past, that gives us comfort, but it will never take the grief away.

“It is comforting to know that these people are now living a life that they could never life before, and it gives me pleasure knowing that he is still there in some way.

“When we got the award it was very emotional, and we have it on the mantelpiece next to his photograph and it is very humbling.”

The Order of St John award for Organ Donation, run in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, has been presented to families and loved ones of those who saved and improved people’s lives through organ donation.

The private ceremony was held at the Civic Centre in Newcastle recently with the awards presented by the Newcastle Lord Mayor, Coun George Pattison, who also signed the donor register.

Hundreds of families are attending regional ceremonies across the UK between September and December to receive the award in memory of their loved ones whose deaths saved lives and gave hope.

Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “These families deserve this honour and recognition of their life-saving gifts. We hope their bravery will inspire others to talk about their own wishes with people close to them and record their intention to donate on the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323 or text SAVE to 62323.