Family of leading artist Hugh Mackinnon donate work to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 14:51 18 September 2009 | UPDATED: 21:54 31 May 2010

Picture: SUBMITTED

Picture: SUBMITTED

SHADOW health secretary Andrew Lansley MP has unveiled artwork donated to Addenbrooke s Hospital. The family of celebrated artist Hugh Mackinnon has generously donated a landmark work, which is now on public display. The large canvas, Portrait of the

SHADOW health secretary Andrew Lansley MP has unveiled artwork donated to Addenbrooke's Hospital.

The family of celebrated artist Hugh Mackinnon has generously donated a landmark work, which is now on public display. The large canvas, Portrait of the Artist as High Flyer , was painted between 1960 and 1970 and is regarded as one of his finest early works.

Hugh's twin sons, Blake and Jake, were diagnosed with Gaucher disease, a rare genetic disorder, at the age of 20. Symptoms appeared mild initially but as the brothers reached their 40s, their condition deteriorated and they were referred to Addenbrooke's. Both were placed on enzyme replacement therapy, although Jake sadly died aged 58 from unrelated causes.

Blake Mackinnon said: "It takes huge levels of dedication and commitment on the part of all the professionals to organise and maintain these services and as a family we are enormously appreciative of the part the NHS plays, in particular the Lysosomal team at Addenbrooke's. We are donating the painting to Addenbrooke's as an appreciation of their work."

Mr Lansley, MP for South Cambridgeshire, unveiled the painting at the Addenbrooke's Lysosomal Disorders Unit on Wednesday.

Lysosomal storage diseases are a group of rare inherited metabolic disorders. Addenbrooke's is the national centre for diagnosis and management of these diseases in both children (in the Children's Metabolic Unit) and adults (in the Lysosomal Disorders Unit). Different diseases may affect various parts of the body, including the skeleton, brain, skin, heart, liver, kidney and central nervous system. There are about 70 of these altogether and new lysosomal storage disorders continue to be identified.

Addenbrooke's Arts, which is funded entirely by charitable donations, ensures a wide variety of art is on display around the hospital.

Arts co-ordinator Damian Hebron said: "We are enormously grateful for this donation. We want to use art to provide creative distractions for patients and visitors.

"Recent research has shown that art helps patients to relax in hospital. It reduces stress, boosts confidence, and adds to peoples' sense of wellbeing."

Pictured, from left: James Mackinnon, Dr Gareth Goodier, chief executive of Cambridge University Hospitals, Blake Mackinnon, Prof Timothy Cox and Andrew Lansley MP Picture: SUBMITTED

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