For Organ Donation Awareness Week (20-27 May) the Saolta University Health Care Group officially launched the ‘Thinking of You Memory Boxes for Organ Donors’ an award-winning Hospice Friendly Hospitals initiative.
The ‘Thinking of You Memory Boxes’ is a new initiative within the Saolta Group dedicated to Organ Donors and their families. Memory boxes can be a significant part of the journey of donor families who have lost a loved one. The initiative aims to support patients in their final days of life and their families into bereavement and beyond.
The tree of life is the symbol stamped on the box representing the continuation of life that a deceased individual has given to another. Each Memory Box contains; a lavender bouquet, a small candle, a ‘thinking of you’ memory cloud which is placed in the donor’s hand during their final hours, a hanging emblem in memory of the donor with the inscription ‘when it rains, look for the rainbows’, and inkless handprints created at the bedside to provide comfort during a sensitive time. The memory box also includes a small teddy, a keepsake box for hair locks, a purple jewellery pouch previous winner of the Hospice Friendly Hospital originating at Portiuncula University Hospital, and wildflower seeded heart poems that once planted will grow symbolising the continuation of life and the kind reminder of a donors gift.
Ali Tomas, Critical Care Nurse, Mayo University Hospital said, “It is a beautiful memory box that will be of comfort to many families during their grief. The donor has done so much for others, it is lovely to provide a meaningful gift to the family that is focused on the patient.”