My brother Ellis Hook was an apprentice baker in a local company, Mountstevens. On Thursday 31st October 1968 he was nearly home on his motorbike when a car pulled out in front of him at the Reedley Road crossroads on Parry’s Lane in Bristol and Ellis collided with the side of the vehicle.

He was wearing a helmet (my parents would never have allowed him to have a bike without one) but this was not enough to save him, and he suffered significant brain lacerations in the accident. This was the end of Ellis’s life at 18 years old, but a whole new chapter for someone else and for Southmead Hospital. The surgeon Humphrey White saw an opportunity to carry out the first kidney transplant in Bristol and had three or four potential recipients – all of whom had total renal failure and were on dialysis.

My parents agreed to his being a donor in the hope and belief that, out of their tragedy, someone might get a chance of a new life. That person was a 25-year-old local woman Anne, who had been waiting for nine months. She hoped she’d at least see her three-year-old daughter for a few more years but – nearly fifty years later – her daughter is married, she has grandchildren and a great-grandson and the original kidney is still in full working order. She is the longest surviving recipient of a kidney from a deceased donor in the world.

Be part of the celebrations of this life-saving miracle work at Southmead Hospital 

Join us for an event 

Faure Requiem Concert

My brother Ellis was the donor for the first ever kidney transplant at Southmead Hosptial in 1968. The concert will include the Faure Requiem in full as well as the Cantique de Jean Racine and other pieces which celebrate the memories of loved ones – including a specially written requiem to Ellis for soprano voice and organ with his sister Frances as soloist. Join us for beautiful music and a glass of wine or soft drink and snacks. Come and listen or - if you know the Faure - be an active part of the choir. Tickets now on sale for audience and singers


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Such Sweet Sorrow - Songs and Music of Farewell

The poignant music of farewells, memorials and requiems brought together in a concert that helps us bring to mind those beautiful memories, the pain of parting and the hope of meeting again. Join us for music from across the spectrum of sacred and secular to celebrate The Great Big Kidney thank You - 50 years of kidney transplants at Southmead Hospital. We're here to give thanks for the miracle that has brought life and hope to others at a time of loss and darkness for some.

All proceeds to Southmead Hospital Charity Transplant Fund

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FREE Family Thank You Party Day

Come and celebrate 50 years of kidney transplants in Bristol, as part of The Great Big Kidney Thank You for donors, donor families, recipients, hospital staff and anyone with a connection to the life-saving and life-giving work.

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Badges and Lapel Pins

Post a thank you and support Southmead Hospital Charity