Today, Nationwide Children’s Hospital joined with Nationwide to unveil a dramatic new downtown wallscape featuring seven-year-old Angela Irizarry from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The wallscape, donated to the hospital by Nationwide, highlights advanced clinical care and research as part of the hospital's Help Kids Everywhere philanthropic campaign. The wallscape towers 12 stories above downtown Columbus at 8 E. Long Street and is one of the largest wallscape advertisements of its kind in the country.
The wallscape was designed by Conrad Phillips and Vutech and installed by Orange Barrel Media, both of Columbus, Ohio. The “butterfly explosion” features three multidimensional butterflies, ranging between seven and 17 feet tall and between 15 and 25 feet wide, ranging in weight from 414 to 1250 pounds. Previously, the space was home to the Nationwide Children's Hospital "Miracle 7" children from the Miracles at Play campaign.
“Nationwide is very proud of our long tradition of supporting Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” said Chad Jester, vice president of Corporate Citizenship at Nationwide. "We are happy to help the hospital promote the Help Kids Everywhere campaign.”
“We are deeply appreciative to Nationwide for their history of transformational support to Nationwide Children’s and the patients we serve,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Angela and this beautiful new wallscape are a dramatic way to convey the Help Kids Everywhere message with Central Ohio residents as well as millions of visitors to the city each year. Our work is only possible through the generous on-going support of our community, and this wallscape serves as a shining reminder of how that support helps us bring the best pediatric care to children everywhere.”
About Angela Irizarry, from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
At age three and a half, Angela became the first person in the United States to receive a tissue-engineered blood vessel made from her own cells, marking a historic moment for the field of regenerative medicine. The graft was created by infusing a biodegradable scaffold, shaped like a blood vessel, with Angela’s own cells. After a few weeks inside her body, the scaffold melted away, leaving behind a perfectly functioning vessel that can grow with Angela. This advancement was developed by Nationwide Children’s clinician-researchers Christopher Breuer, MD, and Toshiharu Shinoka, MD.
Angela also became the first child to enroll in a five-year study to follow her progress, opening the door for other children with organ defects who could benefit from tissue-engineered vessels. Today, seven-year-old Angela’s ‘big heart’ is pumping strong and telling her to be a firefighter. And a doctor. When she isn’t busy pedaling around on her bike with her big brother Alexander, she’s dancing, drawing and writing. She recently took up gymnastics, and loves school. Doctors expect her – and her grafted vessel – to continue to grow and thrive.