Memorial terrace garden opens to benefit major trauma patients

A terrace garden has been opened next to the major trauma ward of St Mary's hospital, in memory of a late neurosurgeon who worked there. 

The Jan Bodnar terrace, which has been funded by the Friends of St Mary's charity, will provide a relaxing space for major trauma patients and the staff who look after them.

The unit, located on the eighth floor of the Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother building, is one of four major trauma centres in London, delivering multidisciplinary, expert care for seriously injured patients such as people involved in road traffic accidents or who have had bad falls.

The terrace has been named in memory of Jan Bodnar, who tragically died aged just 37 after a motorbike accident. Jan worked at St Mary's and Charing Cross hospitals for five years.

Shehan Hettiaratchy, Trust trauma lead, said: "Jan was a much valued colleague and a fantastic surgeon. He loved the outdoors, and so the new garden provides some much needed space for patients and staff alike to rest and relax, and to get a bit of fresh air. 

"It's a great tribute to our much-missed colleague and we're immensely grateful to those who have helped make it happen."

Birgit Vorwerk is a rehabilitation assistant in major trauma. She came with the idea and applied for the funding, she now maintains the terrace. "When the major trauma ward moved to the eighth floor, I saw an opportunity to use the existing terrace space to create a relaxing place for patients and staff.

"Our unit is very busy and the patients are often seriously ill so it’s nice to be able to come outside and spend time in a calming, green environment. Patients are already really appreciating the new space - I've no doubt it helps them on the road to recovery."