Last year approximately 28,000 Americans received a life-saving organ transplant and more than one million Americans received a life-changing tissue transplant. When just one individual makes the decision to donate, they can change the lives of more than 50 others.
For those who have been blessed with good health, the thought of needing a life-saving organ transplant to survive has probably never crossed their mind. However, for the more than 115,000 Americans awaiting a life-saving transplant, this is everyday life. Tim Jones of Cambridge is one of those who has been positively affected by organ transplant.
Tim, a heart transplant recipient learned of his heart condition at the age of 14, when his doctor realized his aortic valve was leaking. Despite several surgeries over the course of his life, Tim received the devastating news that he would need a heart transplant in the future to survive.
Fortunately, Tim was one of the lucky ones; he received his new heart July 2, 2004, thanks to the gift of a selfless stranger. Tim credits his full life to that of his hero Patty, an organ donor who saved his life. Without her gift, I would not be golfing, watching the Buckeyes, volunteering for Lifeline of Ohio, increasing what I consider to be my extended family, meeting so many wonderful people at my school talks and health fairs, participating in the U.S. Transplant Games (loosely speaking!) and most importantly, keeping Pattys name alive, in honor of her generous act of heroism. Patty saved four lives that day.
Although Tim was lucky to have received his new heart, sadly, not everyone is that lucky. The national waiting list is rising at a disturbing rate. A new name is added every ten minutes. The horrible truth is 18 men, women and children die each day while waiting for a life saving transplant that does not come. This is all due to the shortage of available organs.
Your decision to become a donor could save someones life. Register now to be an organ and tissue donor by logging onto www.lifelineofohio.org. Barnesville Hospital will have a tent for the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival along North Chestnut Street behind the Ohio Hills Health Services offices. There will be local volunteers who have been touched by organ and tissue donation and/or hospital staff to greet festival visitors and provide information about donation and register donors onsite.