Yeovil Hospital organ donation sculpture unveiled

Published: 8-Oct-2019

Sycamore seed represents the gift of life

Yeovil has long been associated with helicopter design and manufacture.

And sycamore seeds, often known as ‘helicopters’, spiral to the ground unlocking new life.

This is the inspiration behind a hard-hitting new art installation in the main entrance at Yeovil Hospital.

When Roger and Isabelle Coombes sadly lost their son, they gifted his organs.

Now the new installation is marking the importance of this gesture, and is encouraging others to save lives.

Mr Coombes said: “Giving life is the biggest gift you could give to anyone.

“When you grieve for someone like we did, it is a flicker of light knowing they are still around.

“And seeing the sculpture brings back memories, happy ones. I am proud."

His wife adds: “We know the outcome was death, but the chance to give others life was more than we could have asked for.

“We are pleased to have been a part of this. Without people like us, people wouldn't have the help."

The sculpture depicts a single sycamore seed as if it has just fallen to earth and provides an eye-catching and dramatic reminder of the importance of organ donation as well as acting as an uplifting memorial to donors.

Designed in conjunction with Hospital Art Studio, it is made from copper with a hand-finished verdigris patina, and, along with its stainless steel plinth, measures 2.5m tall.

Though strong and robust, it is designed to appear delicate, its tracery of veins containing uplifting words.

And on the corner walls there is additional wording portrayed spiralling down to earth as if from a tree, accompanied by further sycamore seeds.

We know the outcome was death, but the chance to give others life was more than we could have asked for

Joe Tyrrell, clinical lead for organ donation at the hospital, said: “We would like this beautiful sculpture to commemorate those of our patients who, in death, have given the ultimate gift; life.

“But we also hope that it will act as a thoughtful reminder for those who may have thought about organ donation, but perhaps have never got around to joining the register or talking to their loved ones about this."

Jonathan Higman, hospital chief executive, added: “Our wonderful new organ donation sculpture, in the main entrance at Yeovil Hospital, is a fitting theme of 'helicopters' and 'new life'.”

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