Throughout the month of February, health organizations across the country celebrate American Heart Month. This month, Donate Life Illinois is encouraging our friends to take two steps. First, we are asking you to learn more about heart health and heart transplants. Second, we want you to “Show Your Heart for Donation” by letting others know about the overwhelming need for organ and tissue donors in Illinois.
Heart Transplant Facts:
- In 1967, Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz advanced medical science by performing the first heart transplant at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.
- Last year, 2,135 heart transplants were performed across the country.
- Heart transplants are extremely successful as seen with recent increases in the five-year survival rates for recipients (73.1 percent for males and 67.4 percent for females).
- In the United States, 3,186 people (131 in Illinois) are desperately waiting for a lifesaving heart transplant.
- Potential heart recipients suffer from a variety of heart-related diseases ranging from cardiomyopathy (the weakening of the heart) to a myriad of congenital heart problems (diseases which patients are born with).
How can you can you “Show Your Heart for Donation”? Take 30 seconds to register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor at DonateLifeIllinois.org. If you are already registered, encourage others to make the decision to save lives through organ and tissue donation. Be sure to use your social networks when telling others. Create a Facebook post linking to the Donate Life Illinois Fan Page or tell others to learn more about donation by following DonateLifeIL on Twitter.
Want to learn more about heart health and heart transplants? Check out the following websites:
Check out Melissa’s (pictured above) story entitled Open-Hearted at www.youtube.com/DonateLifeIllinois.