COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) honored those who have given and received organ and tissue donations at a special flag raising ceremony held on April 1 at the medical center.
The month of April is Donate Life Month, the medical center and recipients as well as donor families gathered together to hear from Cookeville Regional leadership, Tennessee Donor Services and listen to the story of an actual donor recipient, Dennis Snider, of Sevierville, Tenn., who received a double lung transplant.
“This is a time to stop, reflect and recognize those who have given life as well as received it,” said Scott Lethi, Chief Nursing Officer at Cookeville Regional. “We raise the Donate Life flag the whole month of April to honor them as well as our staff, who provide care to these individuals and their families.”
Paul Korth, CEO at Cookeville Regional, added, “We support the ongoing efforts of organ and tissue donation by continuing to raise awareness about donations as well as raising the flag to honor these individuals. This is a way we can say thank you to those who have given and received donation.”
In 2018, Cookeville Regional had 40 tissue donors, three organ donors with a total of six total organs transplanted. That includes bone, cartilage, heart valves and corneas. One person’s organ donation can save up to eight lives, and one person’s tissue donation can enhance the lives of up to 50 people.
The current donation statistics show that more than 113,000 people in the Unites States are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant with 3,000 waiting in Tennessee. Every day 20 people die waiting for a transplant, and every 10 minutes a new name will be added to the national transplant waiting list. While most Americans are in favor of donation, many believe they are too old or unhealthy to donate, and others simply don’t take the steps required to sign up. Almost everyone can be a donor. There is no age limit to organ donation and very few diseases preclude donation.
David Phillips and Angela Craig both chair the donation committee at Cookeville Regional.
“Our goal at CRMC is to help our patients that are on the list by increasing awareness regarding organ and tissue donation. There are several ways to register to become a donor and it is an easy process to register. There are people who are well-educated and available to talk with you about donation,” said Phillips. “There are a lot of misconceptions about organ donations and we really encourage people to research and find out information before counting it out.”
Craig added, “If you are a registered donor and your desire is to see that through, we encourage you to let your loved ones know you are and your wishes. We see families come in who never knew their loved one was a registered organ donor. Donation is a wonderful way to leave behind a legacy. This is a gift you can give to save lives.”
There are several opportunities to register to become an organ donor. Tennesseans can register to be an organ donor by simply checking YES when applying for or renewing their driver’s license. A small red heart is placed on the driver license. And residents can also sign up online by visitingwww.donatelifetn.org.