It’s the season of giving and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) is getting in the spirit by unveiling a new installment in the Rick Smith Gallery entitled The Ultimate Gift. The latest installation highlights the importance of organ donation through the portraits of organ donors, donor families and recipients. Gratitude, sacrifice and hope can be seen in the eyes, smiles and embraces of those photographed, who all share one thing in common: their lives have been forever changed by the ultimate gift – the gift of life.
The Ultimate Gift was a deeply personal project for all those involved, including local photographer Troy Fields who captured all of the moving images for the gallery. Fields’ 7-year-old daughter, Abby, will likely need a lifesaving liver transplant in the future. A self-portrait of Fields with his daughter is featured in the installation.
“When I was 10 years old, I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, which required a liver transplant,” said Tyree Hunter, who is also featured in the gallery. “Now, 20 years later, I work as a surgical technologist assisting with transplants here at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. It really has come full circle. I hope that people are able to see these photos and realize the importance of organ donation, and how it has an effect on the lives of so many different people.”
The Rick Smith Gallery, which was funded through employee contributions to the annual employee campaign several years ago, was created in memory of Rick Smith, the late director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Hermann-TMC who understood the importance of healing the body, mind and soul. Located near the main lobby of Memorial Hermann-TMC in the Hermann atrium, it is open to all employees, patients and visitors, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This is the gallery’s ninth installment since it opened in 2012. Previous exhibitions have featured a tribute to the late Dr. James H. “Red” Duke, Jr.; paintings, photographs, mixed media and sculptures by physicians and hospital employees; professional photographic images of the Campus’ beloved therapy pets; hand-drawn portraits of caregivers by pediatric patients; Holocaust Museum Houston’s Butterfly Project; and a history of Memorial Hermann Life Flight®.