Medal honours West Row mum Emma’s gift of life to strangers
Emma Guillory died almost instantly when an artery near her heart ruptured, but she saved the lives of four people.
The 35-year-old mother of two young children had been on the organ donor register for half her life and her life-saving foresight was honoured when her father Elton ‘Gil’ Guillory was presented with the Order of St John award for Organ Donation by Norfolk’s vice lord-lieutenant Lady Cici Romney at a ceremony in Norwich.
Gil said on Monday: “Emma’s organs saved the lives of four people and greatly enhanced the lives of ten others.
“I’ll always miss Emma, but I was extremely proud to receive the medal for her life saving contributions.
“I don’t normally preach or advocate the merits of organ donation, but if there had been anything available to save Emma, I would have been eternally grateful.
“I am on the donor register and I urge everyone to to at least consider it and give it some serious thought.”
There are 6,500 people on the UK transplant waiting list and three die every day.
Emma’s parents now live in West Row with her partner Barrington Haynes and children Floyd, who was 20 months old when Emma died and 17-month-old Enid who lost her mother at 10 weeks old on September 28, 2015.
Barrington said: “Emma had been on the organ donor register since she got her driving licence at 17 and it was reinforced for us how important it was when my father had a liver transplant.
“I think it should be something you opt out of as it is in Wales and other countries. I’ve seen the impact it has on people’s lives – it gave us three more years with my dad.”
He says the fact that Emma’s organs helped others was a testament to who she was.
“I would rather that Emma was here than anything in the world, but I would have hated those organs to go to waste,” he said.
He and Gil also praised the help East Anglian Air Ambulance gave in trying to save Emma. A Just GIving page set up in her memory has raised £7,280 for the charity.
Barrington also praised the support the organisation Widowed and Young has given him. Visit www.widowedandyoung.org.uk
The organ donation award is run by the Order of St John with NHS Blood and Transplant. Register as a donor at www.organdonation.nhs.uk