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Tenterden: Family of organ donor Marc Richardson receive Order of St John

The family of a builder who died suddenly at the age of 44 have learnt that his kidneys and liver have been used to save others.

Marc Richardson died at the William Harvey hospital just over a year ago after suffering a catastrophic stroke at his Pittlesden, Tenterden, home.

Now his 10-year-old granddaughter Macey says she wants to become an organ donor after seeing the Order of St John emblem and certificate that has just been presented to the family.

10-year-old Macey says her grandad Marc is her forever hero
10-year-old Macey says her grandad Marc is her forever hero

Marc's widow Dawn said: "Macey had such a special relationship with Marc and she called him GDad because she said he was too cool to be a grandad.

"The day before he died a nurse took Macey's and Marc's handprints together when she went to say goodbye. She was such a brave little girl."

Macey said: "I'm so happy that my GDadcould save other people when he couldn't be with us. He will be my hero forever."

Organ donor Marc Richardson
Organ donor Marc Richardson

The family were presented with the award last month by NHS Blood and Transplant, who told Dawn that two men, one in his early forties and the other in his late fifties, who had both been on the waiting list for three years, each received a kidney from Marc.

Dawn said: "Marc was diabetic and he wanted to donate blood but wasn't allowed to and he said to me 'when I die if anyone wants my organs they can have them'.

Macey and Marc's handprints side by side
Macey and Marc's handprints side by side

"I'm so glad that we discussed organ transplant before because I knew what to decide when he was ill. It's really lovely to know that his organs have helped other people."

An emotional letter was also sent to Dawn from a women in her mid-fifties who received Marc's liver.

Widow Dawn Richardson
Widow Dawn Richardson

"She told me that Marc's liver had saved her life and how thankful she was that she would be able to see her daughter get married.

"I broke down when I read her letter it was such an emotional moment, but heartbreaking too because Marc's life wasn't saved."

She added: "It's been a year since Marc died but I still haven't really taken it in properly. There are reminders of him everywhere, anniversaries and his birthday. He was too young to die."

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