12 December 2018
A memorial paying tribute to the thousands of organ donors across the county who have saved and transformed lives has been unveiled at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.
Ben Reid, Chair of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs PRH and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), officially unveiled the Forget Me Not memorial window at a celebration event attended by families of organ donors and transplant recipients.
The memorial window features a Forget Me Not design to show donors will never be forgotten.
The family of Oliver Harrison was among those attending the event. Oliver was born with only one side of his heart functioning and, when he was three-days-old, had his first open heart surgery. In August 2013, the 10-year-old had a heart transplant and has gone from strength-to-strength.
His mum Emma, of Oswestry, is a passionate supporter of the Organ Donation Register.
She said: “In August 2013 one amazing brave family gave Oli the gift of life. Without Oli’s heart transplant we would have lost our darling son and our younger son, Harry, would have lost his beautiful sibling.
“I think the memorial is a brilliant idea and will provide a lovely place to come to remember and honour people. It’s important to celebrate all those people who have given something amazing.”
The memorial has been designed by art students Diane Silverton and Emma Mounsey after SaTH launched a competition in conjunction with the art department at The University of Wolverhampton. Diane has designed the window and Emma has designed a bench memorial that will be incorporated into a quiet area at a later date.
Dr Rob Law, Consultant Anaesthetist and Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at SaTH, said: “The window honours the extraordinary gift made by past SaTH donors and provides the focal point of a quiet and peaceful area in the hospital.
“It is an area where donor families can come to remember their loved ones and which can also be used by the relatives of other patients.”
Ben Reid said: “Organ donation is an amazingly generous act and saves thousands of lives in the UK every year. Just one organ donor can save or transform the lives of up to nine people.
“Every donor has given an incredible gift and we know their families take great pride and comfort from knowing their loved one has changed the lives of others.
“It is only right that the selfless act of organ donation should be recognised, and it feels even more fitting that we are doing this at the end of a year of celebration for the 70th anniversary of the NHS. It is hard to imagine how many lives have been changed for the better since the very first kidney transplant way back in 1954.
“The sculpture is stunning and will provide people with an area to celebrate and remember the people who have given something amazing. We hope others will be inspired by such generosity and will take the opportunity to talk to those close to them about donation. By joining the organ donation register and letting others know about your decision, you too can save lives.”
Signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register is quick and easy – just visit the Organ Donation website www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323 or text DONATE to 62323.