A new memorial for organ donors - Barts Charity

Giving the gift of life

A moving new sculpture at The Royal London Hospital honours the amazing people who have saved the lives of others through organ donation.

  • Date: September 20, 2023

The Barts Health Organ Donor Memorial is dedicated to those who have passed away in the intensive care units of Barts Health hospitals and who had agreed to become organ donors.  At the darkest of times, knowing that as a result of organ donation, your loved one may be saving one or even multiple lives can be a huge source of solace amidst the grief.  There can be no greater gift.

Honour and celebration

The aim of the memorial is to honour and thank those who have made the decision to donate; to celebrate the lives saved or improved as a result of transplant; and to encourage more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register.  It was formally unveiled at a ceremony on Friday 22 September 2023 and is positioned by one of the main hospital entrances which means it will be visible to many hundreds of people every day.

The power of memory

The sculpture is the work of acclaimed artist Saad Qureshi (pictured above next to the memorial), who was commissioned thanks to  Barts Charity funding. As part of the development of the work, Qureshi spent time with organ donors’ families and transplant recipients, asking them to share significant moments in their lives and those of the donors. The artist has used the themes of these stories as inspiration for the sculpture, which is about memory and how we process experience.

Donors needed

Over 60,000 people are currently alive in the UK today, thanks to receiving the precious gift of life from an organ donor. However, over 7,000 are still waiting and there are only around 1,400 donors a year. Just one organ donor can save up to nine lives or improve up to 50 lives if tissue is also donated.

"I will sit by the memorial and gain great comfort from knowing my son Tom is now being remembered through this legacy, this artwork. I hope many others will draw strength and reflect on their loved ones as well."
Lisa, mother of organ donor Tom.

Organ donor, Tom

"I hope the organ donation memorial will be a place of reflection, a place where we remember our wonderful donors and what they did for us."
Stuart, kidney recipient

Commemorative brochure

The Barts Health Organ Donation Committee has created a commemorative brochure to accompany the unveiling of the memorial, which you can read below. It contains the moving stories of people like Lisa, whose son Tom donated organs and tissue, and like Stuart, Dennis and Fergal who have all received a new lease of life thanks to transplants.

With thanks to Gary Lawrence, Director Meadow Communications for the design of the brochure.

Confirm your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

For more information or to register organ donation decisions, click on the button below, use the NHS App or call 0300 123 23 23. Users of the NHS App can also check or amend their decision.

Register Now