A ten-year-old girl who saved five lives by donating her organs has been honoured in a work of art at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, writes Josh Mellor…
Ella Thatcher, from West Sussex, suffered from severe epilepsy and was treated at Evelina Children’s Hospital, before passing away last year.
Her donated organs helped save the lives of two children and three adults, one of whom wrote to Ella’s parents.
Her mother, Anna, said: “We received a letter from the child who got her heart and they called Ella a hero – that was amazing.
“Although it’s been a year it still feels like yesterday to us so it’s nice to know that people are remembering Ella.
“I hope the new artwork raises awareness of organ donation and that people in the depth of their own grief can see that they can stop someone else going through the same thing by allowing their loved ones’ organs to be donated.”
Ella’s initials are engraved into the artwork, titled ‘Song of the Nightingale’, created by artist Ted Harrison to honour Ella and others who have saved lives by donating organs.
Mr Harrison received a kidney donation at Guy’s 30 years ago.
He unveiled the piece at St Thomas’ Hospital and it was blessed by The Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Dame Sarah Mullally, who previously worked at St Thomas’ as a nurse.
He said: “I will be forever grateful to my donor and her family for such an immense gift.
“The nightingale is the theme of the artwork – not only because of this hospital’s historic links with Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing, but also because in nature the nightingale sings a beautiful song of new hope even when the night seems to be at its darkest.”