April is national “Donate Life” month — which is meant to inspire people to become organ donors.
Unity Point St. Luke’s Hospital of Sioux City recently joined the Iowa Donor Network in a “Donate Life” flag raising ceremony to celebrate donor families and transplant recipients. John Jorgensen is the donation services coordinator of the Iowa Donor Network.
“We often think about organ donation as being something for the recipient only. But it is also for the family to help families in their grief,” Jorgensen says, “help families to know that their legacy will live on in the lives of others through organ, tissue, and eye donation.” he says.
Jorgensen says organ donors helped save many lives in Iowa this past year, despite the pandemic.
“There were 128 organ donors who generously gave 365 organs for transplant. Thousands more were healed by the gifts of 984 tissue donors in Iowa But yet still there are more than 107,000 people on a transplant list in the United States. And in Iowa, that number is over 600,” according to Jorgensen.
Jorgenson says every donor makes an impact on many lives. “Through organ donation, up to eight lives might be saved through an organ donor’s gift of life. One tissue donor has the ability to enhance the lives of up to 300. It is a selfless act for this gift of life,” he says.
You can sign up to be an organ donor when you renew or obtain your driver’s license. More than 70 percent of adults in Iowa are registered organ donors. You may also register online at iowadonornetwork.org.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)