The Massachusetts General Hospital Transplant Center recently unveiled a very special piece of art: a Donor Memorial Tree, dedicated in honor of the selflessness of organ and tissue donors as well as their families.

“The organ donor memorial is based on the Celtic Tree of Life, which symbolizes balance and harmony between the earth and heaven, and heaven and earth. The knots encircling the tree represent the woven and binding connection between the past, present and future,” said Senior Administrative Director of the Transplant Center and Chair of the Mass General Organ and Tissue Donation Committee Paul Myoung.

Donor Memorial Tree
The Donor Memorial Tree is located in the lobby of the Lunder Building on the Mass General main campus.

The Mass General Donor Memorial Tree is a custom work of art that took more than two years to design and construct. Inscribed around the circumference are the words “Thank You” in 15 languages, reflecting the importance of diversity, inclusion and equality. It is a message of appreciation and remembrance for everyone who chose to give the gift of life.

“The Donor Memorial Tree is intended to be a timeless tribute,” said Joren C. Madsen, MD, DPhil, director of the Transplant Center. “It celebrates the benevolence and generosity of donors, but it is also a source of strength for the dedication of those who work in transplantation at Mass General and New England Donor Services.”

As of July 2019, there are approximately 113,000 people, including children, waiting for a life-saving transplant. One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation. In 2018, thanks to the generosity of more than 17,500 donors, new life was offered to recipients and their families around the United States.

“As a bedside nurse caring for donor patients and families, I’m overjoyed that this memorial allows the Mass General community to honor their gift in such a symbolic manner,” said Katelyn Sparks, neuro intensive care unit nurse.

For nearly three decades, the Mass General Transplant Center has been a pioneer in transplant surgery and medicine. The largest transplant program in New England, it is also the only center in the region to offer adult patients transplantation for every organ. In 2018, Mass General reached an important milestone when it performed its 4,000 transplant operation.

Learn more about organ and tissue donation at Mass General