There are more than 120,000 men, women and children in the United States (nearly 12,000 in Texas alone) who need an organ transplant to live. A single donor can save as many as 8 lives through organ donation and help as many as 75 people through cornea and tissue donation. Every 10 minutes someone new is added to the national transplant waiting list. Still, about 8,000 people die every year waiting for an organ, an average of 22 people each day.
Joining host, Dennis McCuistion, to talk about this critical need are:
- Göran B.G. Klintmalm M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.S.: Chief & Chairman, the Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute, Past President, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas
- Patti Niles: President/CEO Southwest Transplant Alliance, one of 58 federally designated nonprofit organ procurement organizations
- Ronnie Matthews: Father of the late Cam’ron Matthews, a donor
During a school football game, Cam’ron, age 16, collapsed on the field. Not long beforehand Cam’ron had applied for a driver’s permit and had checked the box to indicate he wanted to be a registered donor. Cam’ron was a hero. His compassionate gift helped save 6 lives. His father, Ronnie Matthews says “there is nothing more touching that someone who looks you in the eye and says, ‘I would not be alive today if it weren’t for your son.'”
According to Dr. Klintmalm, “3.2 organs can be recovered from an average donor; however, not all organs in every donor are usable. And we have to evaluate whether an organ is going to be good for a recipient or detrimental.”
In 2015, a record breaking 30,000 organ transplants were performed in the United States, more than in any previous year. Approximately 1% of people who die in Texas, die in a way where they can be an organ donor. The risk for a transplant procedure is relatively small. However, there are many other factors at risk; from blood types not matching to any medical condition the donor may have.
In 2016, Southwest Transplant Alliance surpassed their goal. President/CEO Patti Niles says, “Each year we set a goal to save more lives with organs transplanted. For 2017 we set a stretch goal of 1,300 transplanted organs. While this is a number and a goal, it represents lives saved. All of this starts with the ‘yes’ from registered organ donors and families that have made the incredibly generous decision to donate. We encourage everyone to register their decision by visiting donatelifetexas.org.”
You too can save lives. Go to donatelifetexas.org and register as a donor.
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Thanks for joining us,
Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Producer
Business Consultant / Executive Coach, specializing in Organizational Culture Change, Governance and Strategic Planning