LifeGift’s Lifesaving Mission Goes On, Even During a Pandemic
Generous Organ & Tissue Donor Heroes Save More Lives in 2020
Houston (February 26, 2021) — LifeGift, the organ procurement organization providing organ, eye and tissue donation and recovery services in Southeast, North and West Texas, is honored to have continued the mission of organ, tissue and eye donation through the generosity of donors and their families in 2020. These selfless donors saved more lives than ever before in LifeGift’s history through the support of our hospital partners and communities in Fort Worth, Houston and Lubbock/Amarillo. Over the past year, 452 organ donors, 968 tissue donors and 1,372 organ transplants provided 1,156 patients waiting with another chance of life in LifeGift’s service regions.
“As we share this data, we ask you to remember that behind every number is a story – a person, a family, a member of our community – an individual who made the decision to save others through donation,” says Kevin Myer, LifeGift president and CEO. “LifeGift’s mission does not involve just one organization or person. We’re incredibly grateful to collaborate with dedicated hospital and transplant center partners, our LifeGift staff, board of directors, Ambassadors of Hope volunteers and of course, our donor families. All working in unison to offer hope and a second chance at life.”
“Successful transplants require the navigation of complex logistics and medical protocols,” adds Myer. “The hope we were able to deliver in 2020 reflects the strong partnerships between LifeGift and our hospitals and transplant centers. Together, we persevered through the unusual challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to honor each donor’s final wish to provide life to others.”
In its mission to save more lives, LifeGift is committed to adopting clinical research and new technologies in the areas of organ preservation, donor management and bone marrow recovery and transplantation. One example of how the organization has embraced innovation in offering hope is the adoption of patient simulator training. The Simulation (SIM) Center at LifeGift’s Houston campus provides hands-on simulation training in a realistic environment to improve organ and tissue donor management and patient care. The center which opened in the first quarter of last year, offers a clinical setting where LifeGift’s organ and tissue clinical staff can train through simulation.
LifeGift also is expanding its existing Houston facility to improve its capability to safely provide collaboration and development space for its growing operation. An additional 22,000 square feet of space is planned for the existing campus in the spring of 2021.
The opportunity to donate and to receive a lifesaving transplant knows no ethnic, national or religious boundaries. One organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one tissue donor can help as many as 75 others in need of critical restorative and life-saving surgeries. The LifeGift team is motivated every day to raise awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation and to encourage every person in our community to register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor and to explore the option to be a living donor for a friend or family member.
Myer emphasizes, “Although we’re humbled to share this encouraging 2020 report, there is still a lot of work to be done as the need for transplants is rapidly growing, and we anticipate a specific increase in the need for lung transplants related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” More than 107,000 Americans are still waiting to receive a lifesaving organ; and, tragically, 20 people die each day while waiting for a second chance at life. In Texas, there are more than 10,000 people in need of organ, eye or tissue transplants each year. Please register today to become an organ, eye or tissue donor by visiting DonateLifeTexas.org.
LifeGift is a nonprofit, 501(c) 3 organization that offers hope to individuals needing transplants in 109 Texas counties in Southeast, North and West Texas. It is a founding member of Donate Life Texas, the organization that manages the organ, eye and tissue donor registry. Please visit www.LifeGift.org.