Special event to remember organ donors and their families
30 Nov 2017
A special event remembering organ donors and their families has been held in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens.
It was part of the first ever global event honouring organ donors across the world. Similar commemorations were held simultaneously in Boston, Cape Town, Derry/Londonderry, Dublin, Galway and Melbourne.
The Belfast event was held at the ‘Candle’, a stone sculpture installed in Botanic Gardens last year after being gifted to the city by the Galway Civic Trust and Galway City Council.
The global events mark the 50th anniversary of the world’s first heart transplant, performed by Dr Christian Barnard at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town on 1 December 1967.
A ‘candle’ sculpture, identical to that in Botanic Gardens, was unveiled in the Groote Schuur Hospital grounds, while another was unveiled at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, where Dr Joseph E Murray conducted the first kidney transplant in 1954.
The Botanic Gardens event was led by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Sonia Copeland, and attended by organ donors and recipients and their families, as well as doctors and medical staff from Belfast City Hospital.
During the event, Leah Carter (8) lit a candle in memory of her mother, Denise, who gave the gift of life to five other people after she died in child birth.