Community | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

TMH Holds 'National Donate Life Month' Flag Raising


By: Lanetra Bennett
April 2, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - Health care officials say more than 3,500 adults and children are awaiting life-saving organ transplants in Florida.

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare is raising awareness by raising a flag.

Chattahoochee resident David Allen says, "Receiving a diagnosis of congestive heart failure was disheartening."

Then to find out he needed a new heart, Allen says more concerns popped in his head. He says he was thinking, "I'd have to wait for an organ, it would have to be a match, and would it be here in time."

Six months after David Allen's diagnosis in June 2006, he had a heart transplant. He was 35 at the time.

He says, "There was a family in South Florida who saw that need and responded to the opportunity and gave the gift of life. Their 16-year-old son became my heart transplant donor and made a difference, saved my life."

In honor of April being National Donate Life Month, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare raised a "Donate Life" flag in front of the hospital Wednesday morning.

Health Care officials say about 17 people die every day while waiting for a transplant.

"Transplantation changes lives." Allen, says.

TMH says one organ donor can save eight lives, and one tissue donor can help up to 50 people.

Jean Hess of Jacksonville says 80 people received grafts because of her son's tissue donation. He died in 2010 at age 42.

Hess says, "It means a lot to the family to know that something good has come from the tragedy of their loss, and to know that something positive has come from their loss; and their loved one has gone on to help so many other people."

Experts say you should sign a registry so your loved ones will know your wishes, so if the time comes, they won't have to make the decision.

TMH will host two organ and tissue donation drives during April. One will be held on April 16 targeting colleagues and a second on April 30 that is open to the general public. The drive on April 30 is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the hospital atrium.


News Release: Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

WHO: Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, Organ Donor Recipients and family members, organ and tissue donation organizations

WHAT: Flag Raising in honor of National Donate Life Month

WHEN: Wednesday, April 02, 2013 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare

April is National Donate Life Month, and Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) is holding a flag raising to raise awareness about the impact of organ and tissue donation. During the ceremony, the Donate Life flag will be raised, and an organ recipient will share how donation impacted their life. Throughout the year, TMH raises the flag for one week each time a patient receives an organ. In addition to the flag raising, TMH will be hosting two organ and tissue donation drives during April - one on April 16 targeting colleagues and a second on April 30 that is open to the general public. The drive on April 30 is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the hospital atrium.

ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION FACTS

-1 organ donor can save 8 lives, and one tissue donor can help up to 50 people.
-Approximately 17 people die every day while waiting for a transplant.
-More than 3,500 adults and children are awaiting life-saving organ transplants in Florida, and hundreds of thousands more are waiting for tissue donations.
-The most commonly transplanted organs are the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and pancreas. As for tissue, skin is used as a temporary dressing for burns, serious abrasions and other exposed areas. Bone is used in orthopedic surgery to facilitate healing of fractures or prevent amputation. Heart valves are used to replace defective valves. Tendons are used to repair torn ligaments on knees or other joints. Veins are used in cardiac by-pass surgery. Corneas can restore eyesight.


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