October 30-- Almost two-thirds of all Georgians are organ donors and LifeLink Georgia is looking for more.
Tracie Ide works with LifeLink and knows from personal experience the impact donors can have, "With my Mom being a two-time heart and one-time kidney recipient, we know truly the impact of being an organ donor and signing up to be an organ donor because my Mom is now a three-time grandmother because of two people's decision to give the gift of life."
Vidalia Rotarian Angie McDaniel (left) invited Tracie Ide to speak to the club regarding organ donors.
LifeLink Georgia serves as go-between for donors and hospitals, "To be an organ donor, you have to be brain dead and to be brain dead you're going to be in a hospital on mechanical support and the hospital is required by law to contact us. If you die in a car wreck, we work with coroners and funeral homes who can make a referral to us so we can check with the family to see if a donation is possible," Ide says.
You may be surprised how many people one donor can help, "One organ donor can help 75 people. We have eight solid organs which can be recovered to help eight individuals. Then there's all the tissues we have, your skin, bone, tendons, cartilage, and eyes can help up to 60 people. Put all that together and about 75 people can benefit from one person. That's a huge legacy to leave behind knowing 75 people are behind because of a decision you made," she points out.
The organization also tries to dispel myths about donating organs, "Some people think that if they're in the hospital, doctors aren't going to try to save their life if they are an organ donor. That's not true, they are there to save your life, that's their job. LifeLink comes in only after the doctors have done all they can do. There's no cost to donation, there's no age limit to donation and the process doesn't disfigure your body. You can still have an open casket funeral," Ide says.
You can sign-up to be an organ donor when you get your driver's license or you can sign-up online at www.LifeLinkFoundation.org.