This Sunday, the nation will fall silent as we remember those who served in armed conflicts. But later in the day, another group of brave, selfless people will also be remembered – organ donors.
The Northern Specialist Nurse Organ Donation Team, of which North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is a proud member, hosts an annual candle lighting memorial service in a church in Jesmond, attended by the families of organ donors and the recipients of the life-saving gift.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the service this year will not be taking place. Instead, Trust lead chaplain Jim Wright will light a candle on Sunday and say a prayer of thanks to donors.
Organ donors are heroes
Jim said: “The Northern Specialist Nurse Organ Donation Team have held this tribute for more than ten years.
“The service is always held in a local church in Jesmond. It honours and remembers those across the region who have died and given the gift of life through organ donation.
“The service is attended by donor families, with some families returning year after year and coming together to remember their loved ones. They are not alone. They never will be alone. Even this year, they will be in our thoughts.
“We also have transplant recipients share their story, showing first-hand the impact our donor families have had in supporting organ donation.
“It’s disappointing that we cannot meet this year. But we will still honour the donors by lighting candles in churches and hospital chapels throughout the region to let our families know we have not forgotten them.
“Organ donors are heroes. On Sunday, we will honour those heroes.”