Annual memorial for organ donors in place at St. Luke's

THE GAZETTE | Makayla Tendall
Sue Mincks, who works as a paramedic on the St. Luke’s LifeGuard Air Ambulance team, sticks paper butterflies on the walls of a main corridor at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids on Monday, April 3, 2017. The annual display is meant to be a visualization of the impact that organ donors have in the community, with each large butterfly representing a donor and the smaller ones around it representing recipients. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
CEDAR RAPIDS — To honor organ donors and recipients, UnityPoint Health employees placed more than 900 paper butterflies on the walls of a ground-floor hallway at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids on Monday.

The goal: to raise awareness about organ donation.

The Butterfly Memorial has become an April staple at St. Luke’s for at least the last six years, said Sandi McIntosh, director of emergency services and the infusion center at the hospital, 1026 A Ave. NE. Each April, in conjunction with National Donate Life month, employees hang large green butterflies with information about donors — their age, gender and the type of donation they made. Blue butterflies surrounding the green butterfly signify the number of organ, tissue or cornea recipients the donor helped. A handful of butterflies on the wall have been colored in by child organ recipients.

The butterflies hung Monday represent 2015 and 2016 donors and recipients at St. Luke’s.

McIntosh said the memorial exists “to really celebrate what the patients are giving.” Continue reading
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