- Last Updated on 08:31 AM 04/09/12
- BY Special to the Gazette
April is National Donate Life Month, and people all over the United States are spreading the word about the importance of being an organ donor.
Did you know nationally, there are over 100,000 people waiting for life sustaining organs and 2,800 of them are in the state of Virginia? On average, 18 men, women and children die each day waiting for an organ transplant.
Three Virginians die each week, and about every 10 minutes someone is added to the life-saving organ list. There are about 28,000 organ transplants that take place each year, and over 700 of them are in Virginia.
Organ donation is the process of giving an organ or a part of an organ for the purpose of transplantation into another person.
• One organ donor can save up to nine lives.
• One tissue donor can enhance over 50 lives.
• One cornea donor can bring sight to two people
• You can donate to research, therapy and education.
Halifax Regional Health System has partnered with LifeNet Health to enhance the opportunity for organ donation and life-saving transplants. LifeNet Health is a leading, federally designated Organ Procurement Organization that coordinates the recovery and transplant of organs in Virginia and part of West Virginia and offers a comprehensive program of bereavement support for donor families and educates the public about donation.
On Tuesday, Halifax Regional Hospital participated in a donor drive. There was a table set up in the hospital for employees and visitors to learn more about the facts and myths of organ donation, and they were able to register to become an organ donor.
At this table were Kia Potts, community education coordinator for LifeNet Health, and Mary Jackson, a double cornea recipient.
When asked why people should become organ donors, Jackson said, “To give someone else that second chance to live their life and fulfill their dreams.”
Halifax Regional Health System typically has over 200 referrals for donation per year which is a combination of eye, tissue and organ referrals and about five tissue donors per year.
Already in 2012, Halifax Regional Health System had their first organ donor since 1988, and the donation saved another man’s life. Included in this gift was the recovery of eyes and other vital tissues. The transplant of these tissues was part of the donation process.
For more information on organ donation or to register to become an organ donor, visit www.DonateLifeVirginia.org.