A "compassionate" young woman who died suddenly has been recognised with a posthumous award after her organs were donated to help others. 

Maham Majeed was aged 21 when she died in May last year.

She was described as a passionate young woman who was always helping others and was due to study nursing at college.

Maham was registered as an organ donor and donated her liver, kidneys, corneas and bone and her heart went to help research.

Maham was one of 35 donors across Greater Manchester who were posthumously awarded the Order of St John Award for Organ Donation, that runs in conjunction with NHS Blood and Transplant, which was given to her family and loved ones on her behalf.

Maham’s mum Nazia, 53, said: “Sometimes it is very surreal, sometimes it hits me, it is not easy.

“Maham was a compassionate human being all her life, she was very concerned about other people and their problems and would help anyone.

“I remember she mentioned to me wanting to be an organ donor.

“But I never knew that she joined the register at 18 until she passed away.

“It was not easy and my initial reaction was I can’t let anyone take anything out of my baby’s body.

“My eldest daughter, Farina, said we should respect Maham’s final wish, and it was not the right thing to stop it.

“We found a card in her wallet too so it was clear to us and we respected her wishes.”

More than 4,000 people donated their organs after death in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

This led to around 10,000 patients having their lives saved or transformed over these three years.

Nazia added: “You don’t really think about these things, especially when someone is young.

“It was natural for Maham to think of organ donation, that’s just what she was like.

“I’ve shared with everyone, family and friends, how proud I feel that she has saved so many lives.

"In our community people don’t have awareness of organ donation, I want to make them aware it is something they should consider.

“When you have no life but healthy organs, why not donate them?

“I don’t think it is any problem in the Muslim religion, the most important thing is life, and saving a life – there is nothing bigger.

“Saving lives is more important than burying healthy organs.”

Nazia says her daughter has managed to give others a "spark of life" after donating her organs.

She said: “We know people waiting, imagine that phone call to say an organ is available, it is chance at life and the biggest gift you can give anyone is the gift of life.

“Her organs have saved so many lives, which is comforting to me.

“My daughter is no more but her organs have given the spark of life to other people, maybe a daughter or son, wife or husband, brother or sister.

“It’s important people are aware that saving lives is the most important thing you can do.

“Your loved one is gone but their organs can save lives, and it’s comforting.

“When the soul has gone, a body is just a body.

“What better thing can there be than saving lives.

“Your loved one is no more but can save the lives of so many people, someone else’s loved ones."

Nazia added: “It was good to attend the Order of St John ceremony, it is very comforting that Maham has made a difference to so many people’s lives.

“It was nice to get her award, it was a very proud moment for me and my family.”

Mick Messinger, Chancellor of the Priory of England and the Islands of the Order of St John, said: “We’re delighted to be able to work with NHS Blood and Transplant to run the Order of St John Awards for Organ Donation again.

“It is so important to recognise all organ donors and it is an inspiration to meet the families attending the ceremonies.

“Organ donation saves lives, and it is a genuine privilege to be able to say thank you to these families, whose loved ones have had such an impact on others.”

The law on organ donation has changed to an opt out system, however families will still be consulted.

Anthony Clarkson, director of organ and tissue donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, added: “The pride families feel at these moving ceremonies truly is inspirational.

“Transplant patients tell us that organ donors and their families are heroes and the Order of St John award is a chance for us all to recognise them and their amazing contribution to society.”