New Lister organ donor murals hope to raise awareness of organ donation

New organ donor murals have been launched at the Lister with the aim of inspiring people to sign-up to the organ donor register.

The artwork features caricatures of different organs that take into account many religious beliefs and cultures. Each design will also feature QR codes, which people can scan from their mobile phones to sign-up to the organ donor register.

The murals took one and a half years to create but just two days to install. They are located: by pharmacy in Lister’s main entrance corridor; in outpatients (yellow zone); and in the lift areas on each floor of the hospital tower block.

Organ donor mural launch - picture

Above: Sandra Cruickshank (Trust transplant co-ordinator), Dr Sarah Fluck (Trust consultant), Kirit Modi (LAKPA committee member), Sarah Bellisario (mural artist), Fiona Loud (policy director for British Kidney Association and vice chair of LAKPA), Yoshie Allan (mural artist), Dr Jon Bramall (Trust’s clinical lead for organ donation), Liz Lees (Trust’s director of nursing) and Debbie Walford (Trust specialist nurse in organ donation). 

Currently there are just over 435,000 people living in Hertfordshire who are on the UK Organ Donor Register. Since April 2012, 389 people have had transplants, from both living and deceased donors. Donated organs can come from anywhere in the UK.

Commenting on the mural, the Trust’s clinical lead for organ donation, Dr Jon Bramall said:

“In the last year, 14 families have bravely supported their loved ones, who have passed away at the Lister, in donating their organs. This has meant that 37 people have received a life-saving transplant, turning an end for one family into a new beginning for another.

Lister organ donor mural pharmacy

Above: Organ donor mural artwork by pharmacy, in Lister Hospital’s main entrance corridor. 

Dr Bramall continued:

“Like the rest of the UK, there is a shortage of donors in Hertfordshire, particularly from people from minority ethnic backgrounds – so we’re hoping the murals will help raise awareness of the importance of organ donation for everyone who sees them.”

In Hertfordshire, there are over 160 people currently who are in need of an organ transplant. Since 2012, sadly 49 individuals have died without getting the transplant they needed.

Lister organ donor mural outpatients

Above: Organ donor mural artwork in outpatients corridor (yellow zone). 

Fiona Loud, policy director for the British Kidney Patient Association and vice chair of Lister Kidney Patients Association (LAKPA), said:

“Organ donation is the greatest gift one person can give to another, often at a time of much sadness, which is why recognition for such selfless contributions is so important. This wonderful mural near the entrance to the hospital is a memorial, a tribute and a reminder for those who pass through. I am delighted to be able to launch it on World Kidney Day as a sign of hope and admiration for all.”

The project was funded jointly by the Trust’s organ donor committee and LAKPA.

Kirit Modi, a committee member at LAPKA, said:

“There is a desperate need for more people to donate their kidneys, both as a living and deceased donor. LAKPA is urging all adults not registered on the Organ Donor Register to consider doing so, and to talk about their decision with their close relatives. As a charity run by patients and carers, we know the daily challenges patients face waiting for a transplant. Donating an organ can transform the quality of somebody’s life.”

The murals were created by local artists Sarah Bellisario and Yoshie Allan, collectively known as Sas and Yosh.

Reflecting on their work, Sarah said:

“We have had an amazing time creating the artwork. We used bright patterns and colours, drawing on a variety of different cultures and beliefs to create designs that will appeal to people from all walks of life. We wanted to dispel any myths people may have about organ donation; you can be of any age, race or religion. Our hope is that people will see themselves in the ch­­aracters we’ve created and feel inspired to sign-up to the organ donor register.”