Celebrating World Kidney Day

Thursday, 14 March 2019

The brother of the first person to donate an organ 50 years ago is celebrating World Kidney Day after raising £2,000 to support Southmead Hospital’s transplant services.

Clive Hook, raised the funds by organising a series of concerts to mark 50 years since Southmead Hospital carried out the first organ transplant ever to take place in Bristol and the south west region.

Mr Hook’s brother Ellis was 18 years old when he was killed in an accident as he rode home from work on his motorcycle in 1968 in Stoke Bishop, Bristol.

At that time organ transplants were rare in the UK and had never been carried out in Bristol or the south west region. Now, however, our transplant surgeons carry out more than 150 transplant operations a year and currently have 242 patients waiting for a kidney donor at North Bristol Trust.

At the time of Mr Hook’s accident, Southmead Hospital had recently employed a transplant surgeon to set up the new transplant service and Ellis’ parents made the brave decision to allow their son’s kidney to be donated.

The recipient was a young mum at the time from Bristol who became a great-grandmother and lived until her recent death aged 75. 

Clive and his sister Frances organised a series of concerts called the ‘Great Big Kidney Thank You’ in Westbury on Trym to raise money for Southmead Hospital Charity’s transplant fund and to mark this milestone in October and November last year.

They raised £2,040 and last week visited the charity to present the donation which will help to keep Southmead Hospital at the forefront of transplants and enable the transplant team to continue and improve its vital work in connecting recipients and donors, extending, changing and saving lives.

Clive said: ““The Great Big Kidney Thank You was a chance to say “thank you” for the life-saving and life-giving miracle work that Southmead Hospital continues to do.

“Ellis’ death was a family tragedy but we’re pleased and proud that my parents’ decision gave the gift of life to someone.”