Each year, hundreds of people receive heart, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants at UC Health, home to Greater Cincinnati’s only comprehensive organ transplant program for adults. But these second chances would not be possible without the selflessness and generosity of living and deceased organ donors.
In partnership with the University of Cincinnati, UC Health combines clinical expertise and compassion with research and teaching – a combination that provides patients with options for even the most complex situations.
Now, the unique journeys of organ donors and families, as well as transplant recipients, will be recognized, permanently, through a one-of-a-kind glass art installation – a reminder of the hope that organ donors provide to others.
“We are grateful to have been able to continue providing hope to transplant recipients across our community, especially during these challenging times,” said Shimul Shah, MD, James and Catherine Orr Endowed Chair of Liver Transplantation at the UC College of Medicine and a UC Health physician. “But none of it is possible without those who register to become organ donors. It is important to our team to thank and honor them, as well as celebrate our transplant recipients.”
The art installation is part of UC Health’s “Hope Stones” program, founded in 2018 by UC Health transplant clinicians Jen Garrett, RN, and Lauren Dick, RN.
In partnership with Brazee Street Studios, located in Oakley, Garrett and Dick created hand-fused glass stones with two colors representing an organ donor and transplant recipient; the fused glass represents the forever bond the two share after transplantation. Each stone has varying colors and uneven edges, symbolizing the ups-and-downs of the physical and emotional journey that comes with organ transplantation. But most importantly the stones are meant to provide hope and encouragement to both the transplant recipient and the organ donor or family.
UC Health transplant recipients and donor families are gifted hope stones by the care team as a permanent reminder of their journeys. The art installation is a permanent representation of those individual hope stones.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with Brazee and the ‘Hope Stones’ project on a much larger, permanent scale,” said Corey King, executive director of business administration for UC Health Transplant. “Now, whenever a patient or family member walks into our clinic, they will see and feel the hope that we provide within these walls every day.”
The Hope Stones art installation was installed last week at the UC Health Transplant Clinic located in Clifton. The sculpture was unveiled to a small, intimate group of staff and clinicians to avoid any large gatherings due to COVID-19.
UC Health provides Greater Cincinnati’s only comprehensive adult organ transplant program, and the experts at UC Health help move patients off of the national waiting list 50 percent faster than the national average. Last year, 306 heart, kidney, liver and pancreas transplants were performed at UC Health.