October 16, 2006

Michelle Floyd
Corporate Communications & Public Relations, LHSC

Quilt Display Tells London’s Transplant Program’s Gift of Life Story

(LONDON, Ontario) - What is a quilt? It’s an integrate collection of various patterns, fabrics and styles all woven into one. The result is a warm, comforting and beautiful design that’s reflective of the love and care that went into crafting it.

As such, it is only fitting that the story of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program & the London Transplant Gift of Life Association is being told through a quilt display at London Health Sciences Centre’s University Hospital. Two quilts, the Gift of Life Donor Quilt & Gift of Life Recipient Quilt, will be on display in the Transplant Unit foyer, on the 4th floor of University Hospital, with an unveiling on Monday, October 16 at 1:30 pm.

“This quilt project is extremely important because more awareness about donation and the success of transplantation is needed all the time,” says Lynne Brady of Sarnia who received a double lung transplant at University Hospital in 1994. “For those who are waiting for a transplant, the Gift of Life Recipient Quilt can give hope by showing that transplants work. Before my transplant, I was short of breath 24/7; now my quality of life is extraordinary. I never thought I'd be able to travel, but the last couple of years, I've been to South American and India. I saw my daughter get married, and now have a two-year-old grandson. Life is great!"

It’s not only recipients who understand and appreciate the importance of organ donations. Ann and Rob Miller, a donor family, contributed to the Gift of Life Donor Quilt to share their family story with others.

"We are so glad to share our precious memories of our son Joel, and to recognize the importance of organ donation through this quilt,” explains Rob Miller. “Joel was only 16 when he died, but he was already a 'wise old soul.' Though organ donation was a very hard process for us, we are certain it was what he would have wanted. His sun has set, but through organ donation and our attempt to reflect his spirit of generosity and compassion, his sun has raised somewhere else."

Cate Abbott of London Health Sciences Centre’s Multi-Organ Transplant Program is pleased to accept the quilts. “There's an album that accompanies each quilt. It includes a personal story and photo for each quilt patch. These wonderful quilts really demonstrate in a visual way the story of organ donation and transplant surgery from both the donor and the recipient’s point of view.”

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada’s largest acute care teaching hospitals and is dedicated to excellence in patient care, teaching and research. LHSC has pioneered many national and international medical breakthroughs. Located in London, Ontario, LHSC encompasses three sites: South Street Hospital, University Hospital and Victoria Hospital; two family medical centres; and the London Regional Cancer Program. LHSC is the home of the Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario and CSTAR (Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics). The research aim of LHSC is Lawson Health Research Institute, which is partnered with London’s other teaching hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Care, London. LHSC is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. Physicians and staff at LHSC number close to 8,000 and together they provide care for more than 600,000 patients each year.