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Organ donors needed in Ohio PDF Print E-mail
Monday, April 22, 2013 7:48 AM

LIMA — Recent studies show more than 112,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant that would save their lives. Just one organ donor could potentially save eight of those lives or 58 if you include tissue donation.

April is Organ Donation Awareness Month and National Donate Life Month. Life Line of Ohio is working with St. Rita’s Medical Center and 70 other Ohio hospitals to educate people about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation in saving lives. Deann Heiing, who works as ICU Manager at St. Rita’s, says if you’re not already an organ donor, local opportunities for easy registration are fast approaching.

“As part of the community partnership with LifeLine and St. Rita’s, we will be hosting a 5K run/walk and one-mile fun-run on April 28 at St. John’s Annex,” she said. “If you’re not already an organ donor, we will be able to get you registered that day as well as answer any questions you may have.

“We will also be speaking to high school students on April 23 at Jefferson and April 26 at St. John’s. Amber Payne will be our guest speaker. Amber is a young lady who had cystic fibrosis and is the recipient of a double lung transplant. She is an amazing lady and her story is very touching.”

Heiing is well acquainted with the merits of organ donation — professionally and personally.

“This topic is very important to me,” she said. “I have seen both sides of the organ donation process since I have an aunt who was a kidney recipient and I’ve worked with many donor families as ICU Manager.”

In July 2002, the Ohio Donor Registry was established by the Ohio State Legislature to make it easier aspiring donors to get registered. If interested, LifeLine recommends donors speak with their families to make them more comfortable with their decision.

There are three ways to register:

• Online (with valid Ohio driver’s license or photo identification);

• Fill out and mail in an Ohio Donor Registry Enrollment Form; or

• Say yes when you visit the Ohio BMV to receive or renew your driver’s license or identification card.

According to Life Line of Ohio, in the U.S., 28,051 lives were saved by organ donation in 2012, while 5,963 lives were lost waiting for a transplant. More than 1 million people benefit from tissue implants each year. In Ohio, 3,455 people, 790 in central Ohio, are on the waiting list. In 2012, 172 Ohioans died waiting, which averages out to one person every other day. Also in 2012, 1,200 lives were saved by 297 Ohioans who chose to be organ donors and 1,885 were given improved quality of life through tissue donations.

 

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