Custom House’s hero transplant teacher made MBE

Teacher Ray Coe with pupil Alya Ahmed Ali

Teacher Ray Coe with pupil Alya Ahmed Ali - Credit: Archant

A heroic teacher who donated his kidney to save a student’s life has been made an MBE by the Queen.

Raymond Coe, 53, who teaches at Royal Docks Community School, Custom House, featured on the New Year’s honours list for “services to education and the community in Newham” .

Mr Coe works as special needs co-ordinator at the school, where he heard about student Alya Ahmed Ali’s plight.

Alya, then 13, suffers from a condition called hydrocephalus, or water on the brain, which has lead to her having severe learning difficulties. She also suffered from renal failure.

Her mother told Mr Coe during the summer of 2013 she would need to undergo kidney dialysis. He offered to donate his kidney for a life-saving transplant, and turned out to be a match.


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Speaking to the Recorder at the time, he said: “There is a verse in the Bible that says something like: ‘Maybe you were born for such a time as this.’ It just clicked and I knew it was right.”

A successful operation was carried out at Great Ormond Street Hospital in February last year.

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Following the operation, Aliya told the Recorder she was “happy to be at school no that I have my new kidney” and revealed she dreamed of becoming a transplant nurse so she too could help others.

The New Years’ honours list is compiled by an honours committee and goes to the Prime Minister and then on to the Queen.

Also honoured was David Amess, MP for Southend West, Essex, who was born and raised in Plaistow.

MBE stands for Member of the Order of the British Empire, and is awarded to recognise achievement in public life or commitment to serving or helping Britain.

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