Metroplex honors organ donors with memorial flag raising

By PAMELA GRANT

Cove Leader-Press

 

According to the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), more than 120,000 men, women, and children are on the waiting list for life-saving organ transplants, and a new name is added to that list approximately every 10 minutes. 

Due to the shortage of organ donors, an estimated 22 people die each day while waiting. By becoming an organ donor, anyone can have the possibility of saving or changing the lives of some of those people.

Metroplex Adventist Hospital and the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA) honored past organ donors with their 2018 Donor Memorial Flag Raising on Monday afternoon. 

The hospital will be flying the “Donate Life” flag in front of the building for the month of April, which is Donor Awareness Month. Not only are they honoring past organ donors, they are encouraging the public to become organ donors or find out more about organ donations. As part of the event, TOSA also held an information session for two hours prior to the flag raising.

“The flag raisings are part of a larger donate life month national celebration,” said Lemuel Bradshaw, an account representative for United Tissue Resources and the recipient of a donated heart. “This particular event, the flag raisings, is a way for a hospital to make a very public statement—they have a big, busy road here—to show their support for donation. Anyone that drives by and asked the question, ‘What is that donation stuff that I see all about?’ Asking those questions starts conversations, the conversations lead to people thinking about donations and maybe registering themselves.”

Bradshaw called organ donations an “everyone issue” because organ donations affect all ages, races, and genders. It is unlikely that a person can live their entire life without knowing at least one person who needs some sort of transplant at some point in their lives. 

Every donor can donate eight organs including two kidneys, two lungs, heart, liver, small intestine, and pancreas. Some don’t realize that they can donate allograft tissue including bones, skin, veins, ligaments and tendons, heart valves, dermal tissue, and more. Donations such as corneas can help someone to regain sight, tendons can help to rebuild joints, skin can help burn patients, and more. One organ donor can save or positively change the lives of up to 75 people.

“We have the opportunity to give the gift of life,” said Jennifer Lopez, Director of Hospital Development for the Lone Star Lions Eye Bank. Lopez is an organ donor herself. “We can, with one donation, give up to 75 people a gift.”

Those interested in learning more or registering to become an organ donor can do so online at donatelifetexas.org

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