A SCULPTURE has been unveiled at Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester to remember and celebrate local organ donors.

‘An Hourglass of Butterflies’ has been installed to recognise organ transplants made possible by patients at the end of their lives with the support of their families.

This permanent reminder of organ and tissue donation serves as a place for families to remember and celebrate their loved ones.

It was designed by Tony and Karen Van De Bospoort of the Hospital Art Studio and funded by the Hampshire Hospitals Charity.

Tony and Karen had been working on the 6ft sculpture for just over a year and worked closely with the healthcare trust.

The event to unveil the artwork was attended by family members whose relatives became organ donors, as well as members of staff from the hospital who have supported families.

John Emery was there with his daughter Alison to remember his wife Molly, who died at the age of 68 in November 2011.

Molly had always been a vocal supporter of organ donation and had carried an organ donation card.

John said: “Even though it was a really difficult time for us all, making the decision was really easy because we knew it was what she wanted. It makes me really proud of her to know that she has helped other people.”

In the last four years, 428 people across Hampshire have received a life-saving organ donation from deceased organ donors.

Across the UK, there are around 6,500 people in need of an organ transplant, including around 150 children and teenagers.

On average three people die every day in need of an organ transplant because there just aren’t enough organ donors.

Laura English, a specialist nurse for organ donation at Hampshire Hospitals Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “The decision to donate is life changing for so many people who are awaiting transplants.

“Families can often feel comforted by this and are proud of the gift of life that their loved one is giving – the opportunity for another person, even a complete stranger, to have a second chance at life.”