A celebrated sculptor has created a heartfelt tribute to hospital staff who helped him rebuild his life following two devastating strokes.
Ossett-based artist Stephen Hines worked for 18 months on his seven-foot tall Tree of Life sculpture, a thankyou to staff at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust.
It has been installed at Pinderfields Hospital by Mr Hines, who thought his creative life was over after the strokes left him unable to speak or work.
Thanks to care at Pinderfields and Dewsbury hospitals, Mr Hines, who was once commissioned to by the Vatican to create a sculpture of the Madonna and Child, made a steady recovery.
He said: “The care I received was absolutely second to none and I can’t thank the medical teams enough.
“I truly thought my old life was finished. “The sculpture carries an organ donation theme and I hope its presence will encourage other people to think about using their passing to give others a second shot of life, something I had thanks to the care I received.”
Mr Hines spent weeks being treated at both hospitals, where he was helped by rehabilitation and speech therapists. His first stroke came out of the blue while he was giving a talk at a school.
Mr Hines said: “A teacher at the school said afterwards that I repeated myself a bit but I remember nothing of it and after the talk I loaded the car up and drove home. When my wife got home all my left side had stopped working so they rushed me to hospital.”
Mr Hines unveiled the sculpture with Mid Yorkshire chairman Jules Preston and staff who helped him recover.
Mr Preston said: “I feel the sculpture will be a fantastic symbol of the care given by the thousands of staff that work at the trust.
“We’re very grateful to Stephen for making and donating this fabulous piece of work.”
Mr Hines donated a smaller sculpture to Dewsbury and District Hospital last year.