Liver transplant recipients showcase their scars to celebrate life


The exhibition "Scars" brings together a dozen portraits of liver transplant recipients exuding joy in the lobby of the Outpatient Consultation area at Bellvitge Hospital. Additionally, the exhibition features other photographs where these inspiring individuals proudly exhibit their scars, which are adorned with delicate strokes of gold leaf paint. These scares serve as powerful symbols of their resilience, triumph over adversity, and the joy that accompanies the gift of a renewed life through transplantation. The exhibition will remain open to the public until the 22nd of May, providing a limited opportunity to witness this compelling display.

The exhibition draws inspiration from a five-century-old Japanese technique called kintsugi, or "golden joinery," which involves repairing broken ceramic pieces with lacquer dusted with gold. In this technique, the mending is not concealed but rather highlighted, showcasing the golden lines as a testament to the object's history. It assigns value to imperfections, becoming a symbol of overcoming adversity. Embracing this concept, the transplant recipients who participated in the project have accentuated their scars with gold leaf paint, proudly displaying their resilience and joy. Formally inaugurated today, the exhibition is driven by the Federación Nacional de Enfermos y Trasplantados Hepáticos (National Federation of Liver Patients and Transplant Recipients). The opening ceremony was conducted by Dr Montserrat Figuerola, the Metropolitan South Area Manager of the Catalan Health Institute (ICS), and the President of the Catalan Association of Liver Patients and Transplant Recipients ( The event was graced by the presence of several transplant patients.

One of them is Montserrat Collado, who underwent a liver transplant at Bellvitge Hospital in 1986. With 37 years since her transplant, she holds the record for being the longest-living liver transplant recipient in the entire country. She still vividly recalls the pen drawing of her scar in her medical records nearly four decades ago. "I have learned to be thankful for this scar, as it represents life to me," she reflects. Despite having grown accustomed to her scar over the years, during the photoshoot for the exhibition a few months ago, she experienced a profound sense of gratitude when given a brush to highlight it. "Seeing that drawing on my body once again reminded me of how thankful I am," she says.

In addition to Montserrat Collado, another patient from the HUB, Isabel Campos, who underwent a liver transplant in 2021, is also part of the exhibition. The opening event concluded with a piano performance by Joan Manel Verge, a nurse at Bellvitge Hospital and a talented musician.