Baptist Health Hardin nursing leaders, staff and organ donor families participated in the 2021 Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony and Moment of Silence honoring organ, tissue and eye donors and their families. The statewide event allows Kentucky Organ Donor Association (KODA) member hospitals to come together and reflect on the far-reaching impact of organ donation in Kentucky.
The moment of silence took place at 10:08 a.m. and was recognized by hospitals across Kentucky in their respective locations to highlight the fact that one organ donor can save up to eight lives.
“We have seen firsthand the generous and selfless final gift given by our organ donor patients,” said Sharon Wright, Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer. “Every time our team lines the halls to escort an organ donor to surgery, we are reminded that their gift will impact countless people – not only the patients who receive the organ transplants, but also their families who have more precious time with their loved one.”
Last year in our service area, there were more than 170 deceased organ donors and more than 500 tissue donors. Since 2016 at Baptist Health Hardin, 10 generous organ donors donated 30 organs, 59 tissue donations and 90 cornea donations.
The event allows Baptist Health Hardin staff who closely work with organ donors and their families to reflect on the generous donations and their important gift to so many.
“There is nothing more selfless than organ donation,” said Jimmy Shanks, manager of Baptist Health Hardin’s Operating Room. “In every instance, our team recognizes that the organ donation process is nothing short of sacred. We cry with families, but we also celebrate with them the hope provided to up to eight other patients and their families.”
Shanks said that Baptist Health Hardin staff are inspired by the two million Kentuckians who have said “Yes,” and registered as organ, tissue and eye donors. This selfless act is made easier thanks to KODA’s partnership with local Circuit Court Clerks and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet when Kentuckians can sign up for organ donation when they receive or renew their driver’s license.
“We cannot encourage our community enough to consider being an organ donor and share their decision to donate with their loved ones,” said Shanks.
April is National Donate Life month and a great opportunity for Kentuckians to consider being an organ donor. If not, learn more and register online at donatelifeKY.org to formalize the decision.