More than 6,000 people across Illinois, Missouri and Iowa are awaiting organ or tissue transplants. Their fight for life rests on the willingness of others to register as organ donors.
On Friday, as part of its observance of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, Blessing Hospital held a special flag raising ceremony in front of the hospital, hoisting the Gift of Hope flag high above the campus.
Gift of Hope is a national organization specializing in organ and tissue donation and works with Blessing Hospital and hundreds of other providers in portions of Illinois and Indiana.
As part of the flag raising ceremony, Blessing Health President and CEO Maureen Kahn shared stories submitted by Blessing employees who have had personal involvement with organ and tissue donation, including an employee who has required two kidney transplants over the past 30 years.
Also, Shelby Kite, a Blessing nurse and graduate of Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences who had a heart transplant and today provides care in Blessing’s Cardiovascular Unit, also shared her inspirational story with those attending the flag raising ceremony.
Every 9 minutes another person is added to the national transplant waiting list. As of December 2021, more than 100,000 people in the country were in need of an organ transplant. Nearly 4,000 of those people are in Illinois, more than 1,600 of those people are in Missouri, and about 600 of those people are in Iowa.
For more info on organ and tissue donation, go to blessinghealth.org/donatelife.
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