James Pressley and his family are staunch believers in organ and tissue donation. James is a trained surgical technician in the U.S. Army and has been involved in many organ procurements during his 17 years in surgery. He also is an Advocates for Hope volunteerfor Gift of Hope.
James’ awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation began when he was aboy. His uncle, Sean Bruce, was thrown from a motorcycle while riding to work in Massachusetts and died from his injuries. Because James had chicken pox at the time, he was unable to travel to the funeral. “I never had the chance to say goodbye to my Uncle Sean,” he said.
When his parents returned from the funeral, they told James that his uncle had changed the lives of many people because he had donated his heart, kidneys, liver, eyes and bones.“At this young age, I decided that I would honor my Uncle Sean and register to be an organ and tissue donor,” James said. “If I could touch the lives of people the way my Uncle Sean did, I knew I would make him proud.”
Today, another uncle, Mitchell Bruce, is undergoing dialysis three times a week and waiting for a kidney transplant. Through his donation advocacy efforts, James is reaching out to educate people about organ and tissue donation with hopes that people like his uncle will receive the lifesaving transplants they need. “These magnificent people (donors) will never know about the many people they save,” James said. “It is up to us to spread the word and educate people about the importance of organ and tissue donation. Through my first-hand knowledge, I can say that organ and tissue donors are treated with the utmost respect and dignity.”