Northumbria Hospital sculpture honours organ donors’ gifts of life

Northumbria Hospital hope The Gift of Life sculpture created by blacksmith artist Stephen Lunn will get families talking about organ donation.

Five words suggested by donor families – hope, chance, love, faith and cheer – have been incorporated into the piece.

Since the hospital in Cramlington opened in 2015, 44 organ donors have saved the lives of 92 people.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Bright charity said it wanted to encourage families to talk to their loved ones about organ donation.

Around 6,000 patients in the UK are waiting for organ donations and around 400 people are predicted to die without having received a transplant, the Northumbria trust said.

Richard and Linda Wheatley’s son Nicholas died in February aged 46 after a massive bleed on the brain.

Mr Wheatley, of Morpeth in Northumberland, said: “Nicholas never expressed his wishes about organ donation but he was the kind of person who would want to help others.

“As far as we are concerned it was the right thing for us to do.

“Nicholas’ loss still hurts as if it was yesterday however we remember his 46 years of life, not his death.

“We get some peace that Nicholas, even in death has given hope and helped someone to live a better quality of life for longer.”

Dr Rob Whittle, clinical lead for organ donation at the trust, said: “Our sculpture is a lasting memorial to those people whose organs have transformed the lives of others and their families.”

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