ORGAN donors and their families who have given the gift of life have been honoured with a touching new memorial at Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

The memorial, A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies, was chosen to tie in with the blue butterflies RBH uses to identify patients who have passed away and to symbolise the idea of metamorphosis or rebirth. The butterflies used in the memorial designed by Tony and Karen van de Bospoort from Hospital Art Studio are also all species found in Dorset.

Donor families and recipients, each with a story to tell attended the special service. Local resident, Su Brimble donated a kidney to her son, Lewis, aged 17. Following his successful kidney transplant, Lewis no longer has to endure hours of dialysis each day. The mother and son recently went on to win gold in the 2017 British Transplant Games and World Transplant Games.

Another attendee, Chris Hovell, aged 53, recently received a cornea transplant and hopes to receive another in the future.

Paul Hobby attended to celebrate his sister Pippa Gill, who died suddenly in 2016. Four of Pippa’s organs were used to help others after her death.

Michelle Scott, intensive care consultant and the Trust’s clinical lead for organ donation, said: “We’re delighted to be able to honour our organ donors who give such life changing gifts to total strangers, both local and nationwide.

“Many people still have reservations about donating their organs but would willingly accept one so we have a long way to go in terms of getting people onto the organ donor register. If you’d like to donate your organs, please speak to your family about it so they know your wishes and sign up to the register – it takes two minutes and you could save more lives than you know.”

Su Brimble said: “Receiving a donated kidney has changed Lewis’ life beyond belief. Before receiving the donated kidney, we’d spend hours in dialysis and we couldn’t make long term plans – it felt like life was on hold. Now Lewis has freedom and quality of life you’d expect for a 17 year old. Seeing the difference it’s made and knowing what’s involved, I’d donate again in a heartbeat and highly recommend others explore it as an option. It’s a chance to make a huge difference to someone else’s health – a gift money can’t buy.”