Concerts to commemorate 50 years since first organ transplant

Ellis Hook The Great Big Kidney Thank You

The brother of the first person to donate an organ is organising a series of concerts to mark 50 years since the first transplant in Bristol and the south west region.

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 organ transplants were rare in the UK and had never been carried out in Bristol or the south west region.

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 was a young mum at the time from Bristol who became a great-grandmother and Britain’s longest surviving kidney transplant recipient until her recent death aged 75.  

October 31 marks the 50th anniversary of the first organ transplant at Southmead Hosptial, and in Bristol and the south west region, and of course marks 50 years since Ellis’ death.

Clive and his sister are organising 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.

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.”

October 31 9.30am St Stephen's Church, Southmead 

                   7.30pm St Mary's Church, Stoke Bishop

November 1 7.30pm Trinity Church, Westbury-on-Trym

November 3 9am to 5pm The Great Big Kidney Thank You Party. Music and food 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, visit the Facebook page #thegreatbigkidneythankyou or www.clivehook.com.

Contact clive.hook@clearworth.com or 07768222282.

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