A quadruple amputee desperately seeking a double hand transplant has decided to bare all in a bid to highlight organ and limb donation.
Corinne Hutton has posed nude, with her body painted with organs and tissue that are deemed transplantable in a bid to help raise awareness.
As one life is extinguished and grieving begins, great comfort can be felt by those who restore other lives with the courageous gifts of vital organs. Unfortunately, we rarely have choice over the end of our life, but we can make the choice to rescue other lives at that time by donating vital organs.Professor Kay
The single mother from Glasgow has been on the waiting list for a double hand transplant for two years.
The former businesswoman had both her hands and her legs below the knee amputated three years ago after suffering acute pneumonia and septicaemia.
Experts are trying to find suitable hands that match Ms Hutton’s on blood group, skin tone and hand size.
In July, Chris King became the first person in the UK to have a double hand transplant at Leeds General Infirmary.
The same surgeon, Professor Simon Kay, will lead on Ms Hutton’s operation once a suitable donor has been found.
The hands now used by Mr King were initially identified as a potential match for Ms Hutton, but after they were ruled out for her, they were then used in the surgery for Mr King.
Finding a suitable match for Ms Hutton could prove difficult as she received 25 blood transfusions when she was ill.
Professor Kay said: “As one life is extinguished and grieving begins, great comfort can be felt by those who restore other lives with the courageous gifts of vital organs. Unfortunately, we rarely have choice over the end of our life, but we can make the choice to rescue other lives at that time by donating vital organs.”
Referring to Ms Hutton’s appeal, he added: “Our hands make us human, and gifting them at the end of life is one of the most human things we can do.”
Ms Hutton has one son - Rory, aged eight. When she fell ill three years ago she had her brothers smuggle her out of hospital so she could see her little boy on his first day of school.
Before she was ill, Ms Hutton ran her own graphics company based in Glasgow but the 46-year-old now devotes her life to her charity Finding Your Feet.
Within four months of losing her limbs, she walked a mile through Glasgow city centre on prosthetic legs, in a bid to raise awareness of the charity which was set up to help other amputees.
“Scotland’s bionic mum”
Referred to as “Scotland’s bionic mum”, Ms Hutton has since climbed Ben Nevis, abseiled, cycled 90km around the Scottish isle of Arran, cycled in the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, taken up skiing and done ballroom dancing lessons, raising more than £250,000 for her charity.
Ms Hutton decided to pose for the pictures, which have been released to coincide with Organ Donation Week, to raise awareness.
On Tuesday evening, the striking images were projected on to a series of landmarks across London, including the National Portrait Gallery.
One of the images shows the outline of a hand, highlighting Ms Hutton’s own appeal for a donor.
The option to donate limbs is not recorded when someone registers to become an organ donor so medics have to seek permission from the families of potential donors after their death.
“The success of Chris King’s recent double hand transplant has been instrumental in putting a spotlight on the issue of limb transplantation,” said Ms Hutton.
“But I want people to appreciate the overall need for organ and limb donation and I felt this was a way of doing it that would grab people’s attention.
“When I was sick, doctors prepared my family for the worst and my parents were asked whether, if the time came, they would donate my organs.
“They were quick to say yes. Everyone out there has the ability to save a life or several lives by simply consenting to donate - whether it be tissue, organs or limbs, should the worst happen. Sign up and, most importantly, let your loved ones know your wishes now.”
Sally Johnson, director of organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “The images of Corinne are very striking and draw important attention to some of the organs, tissue and limbs that can be donated; saving or transforming lives.
“Transplants can only take place if people are willing to donate and sadly around three people a day die across the UK in need of an organ transplant due to a shortage of people being willing to donate. I really hope that the images of Corinne will grab people’s attention and encourage them to talk to their families about whether they want to be a donor. I hope that it won’t be long before we can find a suitable hand donor for Corinne too.”
- To join the NHS Organ Donor Register visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 123 2323.