30 July 2022

Music and art in Milton Keynes
hospital that says thanks to
all who give the ‘gift of life’

Branches of an apple tree bursting with springtime blossoms … art in the outpatients reception area in Milton Keynes University Hospital (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

Patrick Comerford

I was back in Milton Keynes University Hospital this afternoon (30 July 2022) for a minor procedure in the Dermatology Outpatient clinic. My appointment was at a nurse-led clinic, and was a follow-up to an earlier consultation about two weeks ago (14 July).

Today’s procedure involved cryotherapy or treatment using low temperature and removing skin lesions by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. These superficial, non-cancerous lesions appear on the bare skin on the top of my bald head and may have been caused sun exposure creating sun-damage to my skin.

I have received similar treatment in the past in hospitals in Dublin for lesions like these on the side of my head and the right side of my nose.

This afternoon’s procedure involved a routine out-patient consultation without any special preparation, and everything was completed in the short space of 15 minutes.

Later, during coffee, I noticed a piano in the reception area, surrounded by artwork the Hospital Art Studio depicting the branches of an apple tree, advocating the ‘Gift of Life.’

The wording above the piano explains: ‘This artwork is dedicated to all our local organ tissue donors and to their families.’

It goes on to say, ‘Trees have been used throughout time to symbolise immortality and regeneration. The branches of this apple tree are bursting with springtime blossoms. Over time, the individual names of organ and tissue donors can be added to each flower … In their final hours they gave a lifetime.’

The wording, on behalf of Milton Keynes University Hospital Organ Donation Committee recommends: ‘Record your donation decision on the NHS organ donor register and share this decision with your family and friends.

‘Organ donation is an act of great kindness that can save and improve the lives of many people.’

It seems I have become very familiar with Milton Keynes University Hospital since I was admitted with a stroke on 18 March. I am grateful for the attention and care I have received from the NHS over four or five months, and for the loving attention and kindness that has improved my life in these past 19 weeks.

‘The Gift of Life’ … art and music in the outpatients reception area in Milton Keynes University Hospital (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2022)

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