The ‘Tree of Life’ at St George’s
On Saturday 4th October St George’s unveiled a special memorial ‘Tree of Life’ paying tribute to, thanking and remembering the many people who have donated life-saving organs.
More than 90 lives have been saved over the last year thanks to donors and their families consenting to organ donation.
The tree, which is positioned in Atkinson Morley Wing will act as a permanent reminder of the donor’s selfless gift and provide a place to honour them. Their families will also be given the opportunity engrave a leaf with their own personal message and place this onto a branch of the tree in remembrance of their loved one.
Trust staff and colleagues from NHS Blood & Transplant attending the weekend unveiling together with 70 donor family members. There were readings by both the trust chaplain Clare Carson and donor family members before the families came forward to place their engraved leaf on the tree.
Gordon Turpie, Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We are delighted to welcome back all of these very special families. It is a truly wonderful gift of life that they have been brave enough to consent to at such a sad and personal loss to themselves.
“Three people a day die whilst waiting for a transplant and it is only through the courageous acts of people like this that those waiting have hope. This tree will serve as a reminder to us all of their gift.”
Nicky Rawlence, the mother of a donor said: “The pain of losing a child is immeasurable. However her memory lives on through the gift of her organ donations and brings some comfort. To know that the lives of others have been transformed is truly amazing.”
The unveiling marked the first annual memory day event to thank the gift of those who donate their organs to St George’s healthcare NHS Trust.