HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A new mural, painted on the side of an Alltown Fresh, will get a lot of attention, raising awareness for organ donation.
“This street that we’re on, Dixwell Avenue in Hamden, is very well traveled,” says Carol Fletcher, whose son, Jerrell, will be featured on the mural.
He tragically died after a car accident when he was 16 years old.
“When they finally said there was nothing more they could do, I said, ‘I’ve got to save somebody because that’s what he would’ve wanted me to do,'” she says.
Jerrell’s donation impacted the lives of four people and helped his mother heal during a traumatic time.
“I got to meet his heart recipient, physically meet him and be able to put my hand and my ear to his chest and hear my son’s heart beating through his chest. It was amazing,” says Fletcher.
These are the stories that Donate Life Connecticut wants to share.
The mural kicked off with a community paint night.
It will show donors and recipients while highlighting the ability to be a living donor.
“I just felt like I needed to take the journey,” says the organization’s executive director, Lindsay Vigue, a living kidney donor herself.
She believes the mural will open eyes.
“People can drive by and see the artist working on it, people can stop and talk to the artist as it’s unveiling and coming to life,” says Vigue.
“We want people to know that they can donate and that it’s safe to donate their loved one’s organs,” adds Elizabeth Cohen, co-chair of Donate Life Connecticut and a transplant pharmacist at Yale New Haven Hospital.
A labor of love…creating art to make a difference
“Yeah, it’s coming together. We’re making it happen,” says Vigue.
Donate Life Connecticut has partnered with RiseUp for Arts and is still raising funds for this project which should be done in mid-May.
Click here for information about how to become an organ donor.