Record-breaking amount of organ donations in July

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(ABC 6 News) – New data shows that in July, LifeSource, the organization managing organ and tissue donations for the upper Midwest, saw the most donations and transplants in the organization’s 33-year history.

In Minn., around 54% of people have ‘organ donor’ checked on their drivers license, but only 1% end up meeting the extensive criteria to donate. This is due to factors such as how and where a person dies, health factors, distance between donors and potential recipients, and more.

Even large hospitals in big cities have fewer than 20 donors per year. This July, however, LifeSource honored the wishes of 28 organ donors, saving the lives of 84 people.

“To be a donor, an organ and tissue donor, is one of extending and living into generosity,” said Katie McKee, the director of hospital partnerships at LifeSource. “We celebrate the generous, tremendously profound act of saying yes to generosity through checking the box.”

Many call it the gift of life, like Krista Thompson. Krista received a kidney from a deceased organ donor in July of 2020.

For Krista, the emotions were overwhelming.

“Super excited because that means the end of dialysis, super scared because it’s a huge surgery, and you’re super emotional because somebody has died and now you’re going to live on for them,” said Krista.

Two years ago, she wrote a letter to thank her donor’s family. Today, she still has not been able to send the letter.

“It’s hard…how do you thank the people that saved your life. It never gets easier,” Krista explained.

One donor can potentially save and heal more than 75 people through organ, eye and tissue donations.

Contrary to what people may think, you can never be too old to be a donor. Also, a lot of health conditions do not affect whether or not you can be a donor.

If you want to be a donor, it is important that you inform your family or next of kin of your wishes, even if it is checked on your license.

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