A Non-Executive Director from Epsom and St Helier hospitals has tasked students from Wimbledon College of Arts with creating a piece of art to commemorate the incredible gift of organ donation.
In the last year alone, 71 patients under the care of the renal department at St Helier Hospital received a life-saving organ transplant. But sadly, in more than half of those cases the generous decision to donate a kidney had followed a tragedy, with 45 of the kidneys donated in 2014 coming from deceased donors.
The kindness and bravery shown by deceased donors and their loved ones prompted Board member Patricia Baskerville to ask local students to pay tribute to them through art. As part of the challenge laid down by Pat, the group of students visited St Helier recently to look at potential sites for their installation.
Pat explained to the group: “The gift of organ donation is incredible. Each year, thousands of living donors change the course of another person’s life with the selfless gift of organ donation. But for many other families, the generous decision about organ donation has to be made in a time of tragedy, as they face the loss of a loved one. It is remarkable that, even when a family is going through such a profoundly difficult time, they can help others.
“That’s why we have asked local students to help us pay tribute to the incredible act of organ donation. I hope that, through the piece that the students create, the millions of patients, visitors and staff who walk through our doors every year will be reminded of the gift and sacrifice involved in donating an organ.”
The students are now hard at work creating their idea – a judging panel will be held later this year and an announcement about the winning artist will follow shortly.