Jackson Hospital Celebrates National Donate Life Month

4/11/2014

Marianna, FL–This April marks the 11th annual National Donate Life Month, a celebration commemorating those who have given the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation. For those whose lives have been saved or healed by a transplant, National Donate Life Month provides a chance to share their story to encourage more people to register as donors. 

The story of Weldon Bradshaw, a 64-year-old English teacher and track coach, proves that you can never be too old to save a life. In the eleventh hour of his chronic and deadly liver disease, he and his family received the greatest news they could hope for; a liver had been donated by an 84-year-old woman, and Weldon’s life was saved.

Morgan Hughes’s experience with donation and transplantation happened much sooner in her life. After being born blind in both eyes, she received the gift of sight through corneal transplants when she was just 11 months old. Now, more than ten years later, Morgan reads, rides her bike, plays the clarinet and is the pitcher for her softball team. Without her cornea donors, none of this would be possible.

“The transplant waiting list is made up of people of all ages,” says Jackson Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Robin Catt.  “Likewise, it’s important to show that people of any age can make a powerful difference in someone’s life by being a donor. Donation saves and heals lives every day, but it can only happen when someone makes the important decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. You can make that lifesaving difference by registering your decision.”

There are now 112 million registered donors in the United States, 7,715,957 donors from the state of Florida.  Still, the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the supply of donated organs. More than 120,000 people are currently awaiting a transplant, 5,273 of the waiting list is from Florida and sadly, an average of 18 patients die every day, because the organ they needed was not donated in time. The solution to this problem is to continue educating the public about the lifesaving effects of donation and transplantation and encourage them to sign up through their state donor registery.

To register to be a donor or for more information visit www.donatelife.net 

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If you would like more information about this topic please call Katharine at 850-718-2696 or email her at kdozier@jackhosp.org. 


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