Organ donation memorial tree unveiled at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital

A scene from the unveiling of the organ donation memorial tree.
A scene from the unveiling of the organ donation memorial tree.

A memorial created to pay tribute to those who have donated their organs to help others has been unveiled at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital.

The organ donation memorial tree went on display in the reception of the Sibsey Road site on Thursday.

More plaques can be added to the memorial tree to honour donors in the future.

More plaques can be added to the memorial tree to honour donors in the future.

It was unveiled in a ceremony attended by families of past donors and patients who have received donor organs, as well as hospital staff and local dignitaries.

The tree – commissioned and installed by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), which runs Pilgrim Hospital, is made of bronze, and has plaques placed on its branches featuring the names of past donors at the hospital, with room for future ones.

It follows the creation of another organ donation memorial at Lincoln County Hospital, a site also run by ULHT.

Natalie Dillamore, junior sister on the intensive care unit at Pilgrim Hospital, spoke of the significance of the installation, saying: “The tree of life acts as a symbol of remembrance for all of those who have been able to donate organs to save others.

“The plaques on the tree are personalised for each individual, and having these in place is a comfort for the donors loved ones.”

In the past five years alone more than 25 lives have been saved through organ donations at Pilgrim Hospital, she noted, adding: “The unveiling of the tree of life was extremely successful, it was wonderful to see so much support from not only relatives and friends of the donors but also from staff within the hospital including the director of nursing.

“In the near future we plan to have a memorial book below the tree which will display those who wanted to donate but for whatever reason were unable to proceed.”

Following the success of the event, the hospital hopes to hold bi-annual memorial services for those who have donated organs.

* Among those to attend the event was Boston MP, Matt Warman, who noted the unveiling came at a time when organ donation is being discussed at the national level.

He said: “I was delighted to see the unveiling of Pilgrim Hospital’s memorial organ donation tree last week, which recognises the priceless gift given by organ and tissue donors.

“The memorial is very timely, with Parliament due to debate changing the law on organ donation so that people will have to opt out rather than opt in, as under the current system. With 500 people dying last year while waiting for a transplant because a suitable organ was not available, I am passionately in favour of moves to improve this situation and ultimately save lives.”