New organ donation mural unveiled at East Lancashire Hospital

The mural is now visible at Royal Blackburn Hospital
The mural is now visible at Royal Blackburn Hospital

A new organ donation mural has been unveiled at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital to honour the organ and tissue donors from East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust who have changed the lives of the recipients and their families.

The mural, which has been hand-painted by local artist Sarah Hicks, has been added to the existing memorial plaque which was designed by students from Witton Park Academy in Blackburn in 2018.

The mural was added after the plaque was moved to a larger area and now makes the design more visible to patients and visitors who walk past.

Deborah Vernon, a Specialist Nurse in Organ Donation at the Trust, said: “We were so pleased when we were able to add to the existing memorial plaque at the Trust – Sarah was chosen as a fantastic local artist and we are so pleased with the result.

"Organ donation is such a special thing for donors and their families and we’re so happy that we are able to showcase this in such an artistic way.”

Sarah, a self-taught artist whose artwork is already displayed in the Bereavement Suites and Chaplaincy at the Trust, was delighted to be asked to design another piece of art for the site.

Her mural includes forget-me-not flowers to remember the donors and their families, and butterflies to signify the new life given to the recipients.

She said: “I have loved every minute of working on this project and the others that I have done at the hospital.

"It is all about the people that I chat to as I work – working through the night means that I have much more space to get the job done, but even at 3am I have met patients and staff from all walks of life.

“I am proud to have produced a painting that has such an important message too.

"The gift of organ donation is such a wonderful thing and those who do donate absolutely deserve such a tribute in the main corridor of the hospital.”

Ms Vernon added: “We are so grateful to Sarah – the artwork is stunning and has definitely made an impact with patients and visitors walking past.

"Organ and tissue donation are amazing gifts and at ELHT we are proud of all of our donors and their families for giving the gift of life to someone so deserving of a chance.”