Cradles of Hope: NEWS


Damien Hirst and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation Opened a New Neonatal Centre ‘Cradles of Hope’ in Kyiv

On April 22, 2009, based at the Neonatological Centre of the National Children's Specialized Hospital ‘Okhmatdyt', the 17th centre ‘Cradles oh Hope' was opened in Kyiv. It is a joint project of the British artist Damien Hirst and of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation under the Foundation's program in the field of health protection ‘Cradles of Hope'.

The medical equipment for this centre was purchased with the funds raised from the sale of the painting ‘Dark Days' at Sotheby's that Damien Hirst donated to the foundation specially for the implementation of the program ‘Cradles of Hope'. The work was created in 2008 and auctioned on the 5th of February.

In the ‘Cradles of Hope' centre based at the Okhmatdyt hospital, a project has been implemented that will allow to provide at the highest level comprehensive care to the children born with an extremely low weight (less than 1000 gram). In its framework, blocks for intensive therapy have been created in the units 1 and 2 for prematurate newborn babies, the equipment of which allows applying the best methods of healing breath abnormalities. The Diagnostics and Retinopathy Treatment Ward has been equipped with a special laser system for correction of affected areas of the retina. Such diseases resulted in an irreversible loss of the child's sight before. The centre has been equipped for the first time with a modern blood and gas electrolyte monitor that checks all the parameters based on minimum blood samples. Equipment for diagnostics of hearing disorders in newborns has been installed that allows to detect failures at early stages and protect the child's health. Overall 59 items of medical equipment have been installed in the Centre. The total cost of the project for creation of the ‘Cradles of Hope' centre based at the Neonatological Centre of the National Children's Specialised Hospital ‘Okhmatdyt' is USD 320 448.

Damien Hirst: ‘I love great art, it can make you feel great but life is always infinitely more important'.

Victor Pinchuk: ‘To breath, see and hear normally is happiness. However, one can realize it only when missing it. Unfortunately, the babies that become patients of the neonatological units run a risk of being deprived of that simplest human happiness. The centre we have opened with Damien Hirst is intended not simply to save children but to give them the chance to feel the fullness of life'.

Tetiana Orlova, the head of the Neonatological Centre of the National Children's Specialized Hospital ‘Okhmatdyt': ‘Such a high class equipment for care of the heavily prematurate babies has been installed for the first time in Ukraine's neonatal units, and in Okhmatdyt namely. It's use will allow to improve the standards of humanization of the medical care in Ukraine and move them to a conceptually new level. The aim in the neonatology today is not just to survive but to live a decent life, and make the childhood and the maternity happy'.

This is not the first time Damien Hirst gets involved in charity projects. He regularly supports different activities for fight against HIV/AIDS, protection of the wildlife, improvement of the quality of children's life and support for young talents. In 2004, the artist became one of the co-founders of the charity Strummerville devoted to the memory of Hirst's friend and leader of the Clash Joe Strummer focused on supporting young musicians.

The photographs from the opening are available by the link.

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