Secretary of State Jesse White stopped by Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion last Friday to recognize both hospitals’ high conversion rate for organ and tissue donation. Congrats to both hospitals for their ongoing dedication to this lifesaving issue.
Please see the full article below from the Southern Illinoisan.
Secretary of state recognizes hospitals in Carbondale, Marion
By Laura Chapman, The Southern
Saturday, June 14, 2008
When Virginia Holt of Carbondale learned her son needed a kidney transplant, she was in shock.
She watched her son go through dialysis while he waited for a donor and wanted to do something to help him. Although she was 63, Holt asked her son’s doctor if she could still be considered as an organ donor.
Given her good health, the doctors approved her as a match. She gave her son a kidney.
Now at 80, Holt said, she is still in good health and her donation helped her son live a better life without dialysis.
“If you have any concerns about being a living donor – don’t,” she said to a crowd of people gathered in a conference room at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
Secretary of State Jesse White presented awards to Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion in recognition of the hospitals’ high conversion rate for organ and tissue donation in two separate ceremonies Friday.
White also talked about the success of the First Person Consent Registry, which started in Illinois two years ago. The list is a legally binding agreement for people who would like to be organ donors.
The list had 3.5 million donors registered at the beginning of this week.
“When you can give someone else a second chance at life,” White said, “you’re also a hero.”
Each of the hospitals was given a plaque commemorating their service in separate ceremonies at the hospitals. Administrators at both locations were on hand to thank White for the award.
Aside from Holt, other transplant donors and recipients spoke to the audiences at the celebrations to tell them about how organ and tissue transplants had played a part in their lives.
At the celebration in Marion, Carrie Conley of Lake of Egypt spoke about the kidney transplant she received in 2004 that saved her life.
She told about being able to golf three months after her surgery before going on to compete in the U.S. Transplant Games in 2006. At the games, she met members of her donor’s family and was able to show them what the fit meant to her.
“I’m just so happy,” she said. “I have a great life.”