Southmead Hospital celebrates 50 years of transplants

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Southmead Hospital is celebrating 50 years of offering kidney transplants to people in Bristol and the South West region.

To mark the NBT’s milestone, the brother of one of the first people to donate an organ is organising a series of concerts to celebrate 50 years since the transplant, which took place on October 31 1968.

Clive 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 Southmead Hospital had recently employed a transplant surgeon to set up a new service and Ellis’ parents made the brave decision to allow their son’s kidney to be donated.

The recipient – a young mum - responded really well to the transplant and led a happy life becoming a great-grandmother until her recent death aged 75.

Clive and his sister have now 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 the anniversary.

On October 31 and November 1 there will be three choral concerts – including a communion service - and a fourth all-day music festival on Saturday November 3.

La Voix Claire, a 45-strong choir from France, led by Clive and Ellis’s sister Frances, will also be performing.

Clive said: ““The Great Big Kidney Thank You is everybody’s 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.
“For us, that means his loss was not a total waste.”

Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising at Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “For 50 years Southmead Hospital has been at the forefront of transplants, enabling people to change lives and save lives through organ donation.

“Ellis and his family’s story is so moving, and we are proud that his family want to support the hospital charity and mark this special milestone that began with Ellis.

“Money raised from these concerts will enable our transplant teams to continue and improve their vital work in connecting recipients and donors, extending and saving lives.”

Sylvia Crump, Specialist Nurse for the Organ Donation team in the South West, said: “We know that Organ Donation saves people’s lives and we are so grateful to the family of Ellis Hook and every family since that have consented to Organ Donation.  Together they have transformed or saved the lives of thousands of people.

“More families than ever are agreeing to organ donation but there is still an urgent shortage. We need more families to say yes to organ donation, so that more lives can be saved.”

The concerts are taking place at 9.30am on October 31 at St Stephen's Church, Southmead and at 7.30pm at St Mary's Church in Stoke Bishop. On November 1 another concert will take place at 7.30pm at Trinity Church in Westbury-on-Trym and on November 3 from 9am to 5pm they will host The Great Big Kidney Thank You Party.

Music and food will be available throughout the day at Westbury-on-Trym village hall.

If you can't attend the concerts you can still donate online. You can also post a Thank You for organ donation on the Great Big Kidney Thank You Tree or purchase a special edition 50th anniversary lapel badge.

To get tickets to the Great Big Kidney Thank You party, visit the Facebook page #thegreatbigkidneythankyou or

You can also email Clive at or call 07768222282.