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Benchmark set for organ donation in Southeast Ohio

Dear Editor,

Lifeline of Ohio, along with organ, eye and tissue donors, passed the most significant benchmark in its 35-year history — 446 lives saved in 2020 through organ donation and transplantation. This number reflects the largest amount of lives saved and healed in the organization’s history.

The federally designated OPO, serving Central and Southeast Ohio, coordinated lifesaving gifts from 165 organ donors in 2020, resulting in 517 organs transplanted. In addition, Lifeline of Ohio recovered healing gifts of tissue from 584 donors, while 234 cornea donors gave the gift of sight. Newer to Lifeline of Ohio is their Placenta Donation Program which acquired 199 placentas in 2020.

“In a year of unthinkable loss, our donors and their families made it possible for 446 people to celebrate 2020 as the year they received the gift of life, and thousands of others to see the future with new eyes, less pain and more healing,” said Kent Holloway, CEO of Lifeline of Ohio. “We continue to be thankful for each of our donors, the dedication of our staff members and the transplant programs we are fortunate to work with.”

Tyler Parker is among the lives saved in 2020 by heroic donors. He was born in 2007 with a congenital liver disease which eventually led to his need for a transplant. Nearly two years after being added to the national transplant waiting list, Tyler and his family received the call on March 13, 2020 that a liver was available. Post-transplant, Tyler is thriving and is active, able to go to school and be a great big brother to his two little sisters. His mother, Holly Parker, had this to say about the donor who saved her 13-year-old’s life: “A selfless donor gave my family a second chance at life through an incredible liver transplant. I will be forever grateful and humbled to have my son alive and well.”

Lifeline of Ohio serves 78 hospitals in 38 counties in Ohio and two in West Virginia to empower the community to save and heal lives through donation. This past year, the organization worked closely with donor families and transplant centers to ensure every opportunity for donation was maximized to save the greatest number of lives.

Although a record number of lives were saved through donation in 2020, there are currently more than 3,000 men, women and children in Ohio waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and hundreds more await tissue and corneal transplants. To register in the Ohio Donor Registry, please visit https://lifelineofohio.org/register-as-a-donor/.

Jessica Petersen

Columbus

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