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Home > News > Memorial to honour local organ donors

Memorial to honour local organ donors

Posted on Monday 28th November 2016
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A memorial honouring local people who have given the incredible gift of life by donating their organs and tissues for transplant after their deaths, will be celebrated on Thursday 1 December 2016 at 6pm in the atrium of the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle (all press invited).

Five years ago, Anne Glendinning, a Senior Nursing Assistant for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH), gave consent for her daughter Sally’s organs to be donated, following her death, which saved the lives of three people. Anne and her family set up a trust in Sally’s name, called the Sally Glendinning Meningitis Fund, and have donated £2,000 to help fund the memorial. Anne said: “In such a dark time, the opportunity to donate Sally’s organs brought a little bit of light to us as a family knowing Sally was helping others to survive.”

Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Reverend James Newcome, will be leading the event, along with NCUH and NHS Blood & Transplant staff. Families of organ donors from North Cumbria NHS Trust and the surrounding region will be attending the event to remember their loved ones.

The memorial was designed by local artist, Sue Llewellyn, who produced wall mounted glass panels depicting a tree of life, dedicated to those who had given life and hope to others through organ and tissue donation. As part of the project, a competition was held in 2013 inviting secondary school pupils from the area to write a poem about the gift of organ donation, and the winning poem has been incorporated into the art work. The winner was Bayli Cottom, who was a pupil at Solway Community Technology College.

She will be also be attending the event on 1 December.

Kidney recipient, Rachael Hogg, will be sharing her experiences of what having a transplant has meant to her and her family. She founded the Kendal Organ Donor Town project (www.kendalorgandonortown.org.uk) along with her husband Chris, who was the Mayor of Kendal in 2015/16.

Kate Dreyer, Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant and member of North Cumbria’s Organ Donation Committee, said “This piece of artwork has been given pride of place in Cumberland Infirmary to celebrate organ and tissue donation and the lives saved and improved by the generosity of organ donors and their families.

“Every donor has given an incredible gift and their families take great pride and comfort from knowing their loved one has saved and transformed the lives of others.

“We hope others will be inspired by such generosity and talk to those close to them about donation. By joining the organ donor register and letting others know about your decision, you too can save lives.”

Stephen Eames, chief executive for NCUH, said: “The wall honours the many people who have allowed others to continue their lives thanks to their choice to donate, and we are very proud that this is displayed in our hospital. Staff have worked very hard to ensure this glass wall has happened and I’d like to thank them for marking such a significant event for people in this way.”

The organisers hope the event will encourage people to think about organ donation, alongside NHS Blood & Transplant’s Christmas organ donation campaign.

Join the NHS Organ Donor Register and make sure you tell your friends and family your decision. Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 23 23.