Family of Meldreth teenager killed in motorcycle crash urge public to sign up to organ donor register
PUBLISHED: 13:04 31 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:04 31 December 2014
The family of a teenager who died in a motorcycle crash are urging others to join the NHS Organ Donor Register after receiving an award on his behalf.
Ben Coxall from Meldreth died in May last year after his off-road bike collided with a car while he was trying to cross the A1198 near Kneesworth.
Only three weeks earlier the 15-year-old Melbourn Village College student had signed up to become an organ donor after seeing his older sister Charlotte’s card in her purse.
More than a year and a half after his death, Ben’s other sister Sarah has collected the posthumous Order of St John award for organ donation on his behalf in a Hertfordshire ceremony also attended by mum Fiona and dad Martin.
The awards, run by first aid charity St John Ambulance in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, are presented to the families of those who have saved and improved people’s lives through organ donation.
“We were all extremely proud of Ben, especially to sign up at the age of 15 – a time when you think you are invincible,” said mum Fiona.
“Nobody wants to be in a situation like that and collecting the award was both a sad and proud moment.
“Had Ben not made that decision himself there’s no way I would have considered donating his organs.
“But knowing what I do now and having feedback from recipients of his organs I can see what a difference it has made.
“It means recipients can have a better quality of life both for themselves and their families as well.
“There are so many people in need of organs and unless they get them they’re going to die. I think signing the register is something everyone should do.
“A lot of pupils at Melbourn Village College sent us pictures of them with their donor cards and we hope Ben can inspire more people to do so as a legacy.”
Brian Wingate, chairman of the Hertfordshire County Priory Group of the Order of St John, added: “We’re delighted to be able to work with NHS Blood and Transplant to run the awards for a second year.
“Organ donation can clearly save lives and it is also vitally important to say thank you to the families whose loved ones have already donated their organs in order to assist others.
“With around three people dying every day due to the shortage of organs, these donors and their families have carried out an inspirational act to help others to live.
“We hope the example they have set will encourage many more to follow in their footsteps and agree to become an organ donor.”
It’s easy to join the NHS Organ Donor Register – just call 0300 123 2323, text SAVE to 62323 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk.