Healthwatch: Organ Donation

April has been designated National Donate Life month. It recognizes those who have donated organs and commemorates all transplant recipients in the United States. The waiting list for a person in need of receiving an organ through a donor can be lengthy. “There’s currently 121,000 people waiting for life-saving organs in the United States,” Tony Hill, In-house recovery coordinator with Tennessee Donor Services said. “Here in Tennessee, there’s 2,600 people that are waiting for life saving organs.” After four and a half years with continuous battles with high blood pressure, Joe Knox’s wait was over when a West Tennessean came to his rescue with a kidney. “When we got to surgery the doctor said some lady from Jackson called and wanted me to have this kidney,” Knox said. “At first, she told him to check the kidney because she didn’t know if it would match and I got blessed. It was a perfect match. We went to surgery at 10 o’clock that night, stayed in surgery three hours, and I was up walking the next day.” Knox’s health was restored thanks to generous donor. There are common ways to become a donor. “The easiest way is to go to and be an organ or tissue donor at that website,” Hill said. “At that site your choice is permanently marked for their records. One suggestion I have is if you choose to be an organ donor, you should tell your family about it so your family is aware of your decision from you prior to any event that might happen.” “It saved my life, it really saved my life,” Knox said. “I advise anybody to be a donor because you’ll save a life.” On average, a single donor can save or heal the lives of up to 50 people. Last year, 796 Tennesseans received the gift of life.

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