By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel ReporterOKLAHOMA CITY, OK – LifeShare Oklahoma has broken its previous records for the four consecutive year by coordinating the donation of lifesaving organs. Saving 481 lives, 183 donors resulted in 529 organs transplanted in 2017.LifeShare is a nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) in the state of Oklahoma that is responsible for organ and tissue donation statewide.In 2016, LifeShare recovered 180 organ donors, passing the organization’s all-time high record of 174 donors set in 2015.“We are humbled and inspired by those individuals who registered as donors to give the gift of life, and those who made the decision to look past their own loss to help others,” explained Jeffrey Orlowski, President and Chief Executive Officer for LifeShare.
“For the fourth consecutive year, LifeShare continues to make a tremendous impact on others’ lives with the help of the entire LifeShare team including staff, leadership, volunteers and the efforts of the Oklahoma medical community,” Orlowski added.Last year, LifeShare also broke its previous record and coordinated the donation of life enhancing tissue from 789 donors whose generous gifts could impact more than 59,000 people.
Tissue donation will impact people through bone donations to improve mobility, skin donations to heal burn patients, cornea donations to restore sight and heart valve donations to repair life-threatening defects.In 2016, LifeShare recovered tissue from 725 donors, passing the organization’s all-time high record of 643 donors set in 2015.“We are proud of these accomplishments and hope to continue to have an impact on those currently waiting on a lifesaving transplant,” said Orlowski. “We encourage all Oklahomans to register to be organ, eye and tissue donors so more lives can be saved.“The need for transplant is growing, and there are still approximately 700 Oklahomans currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant,” said Katy Smith, Vice President, Foundation Director for LifeShare of Oklahoma.”A half century ago transplanting a human heart was considered revolutionary and groundbreaking. This month, Stanford Hospital in California celebrated the 50th anniversary of being the first medical institution in the United States to perform the operation on an adult. Dr. Norman Shumway developed the standard surgical technique and performed the operation.Stanford now does between 50 and 70 heart transplants a year.
To facilitate donations, LifeShare works closely with five transplant centers and 145 healthcare organizations in Oklahoma. Through public education, LifeShare works to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.LifeShare encourages all Oklahomans to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor and to share that decision with their family. Give the gift of life by registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at www.LifeShareRegistry.org.For more information about LifeShare, visit www.LifeShareOK.org.
LifeShare has fourth consecutive record breaking year saving 481 lives
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