Brave Coen wins courage award
MARYBOROUGH'S Coen Ashton has won the Child of Courage award and the inaugural People's Choice Award at the National Pride of Australia medal ceremony for his courageous battle against cystic fibrosis.
14-year-old Coen was recognised at the awards last night for his MurrayCODD campaign, which saw him jet ski the length of the Murray River to raise awareness of organ donation.
Coen made the move to Melbourne with his family in August to await a life-saving double-lung transplant and is now one of the youngest people in the country on the waiting list.
More than 1000 people signed up as organ donors as a result of the seven-week trip and even more have continued to sign up at Coen's website.
Despite doctors encouraging him to stay in hospital, Coen was discharged from a Melbourne hospital to attend the ceremony.
Mum Dawn Ashton said his lungs were now functioning at 23% and he is forced to get around most of the time on a scooter.
"He is in the right place for when that call comes," she said.
"He just can't wait to be on that operating table."
Packed to the Rafters star Rebecca Gibney presented Coen with his Child of Courage award last night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.