Many families extend the legacy of a loved one through the gift of organ donation at Freeman Health System. Twenty-six organs were transplanted in 2016, giving individuals a second chance at life. The organ conversion rate at Freeman in 2016 was 86 percent. The national goal for the same year was 75 percent.
Approximately 1,900 individuals also received the healing gift of tissue donation. The national goal was 40 percent in 2016. Freeman exceeded the national goal with a tissue conversion rate of 47 percent.
Freeman is a partner hospital of Midwest Transplant Network, a federally certified not-for-profit organ procurement organization. As Freeman exceeded the national goals in organ and tissue conversion rates, Midwest Transplant Network also reported a record high in 2016 with 228 organ donors. Donors contributed to 728 life-saving transplants, a 23 percent increase in the number of lives saved from 2015. Additionally, 1,352 tissue and cornea donors potentially provided life-enhancing gifts to up to 55,000 recipients.
“For many families, carrying out a loved one’s wish of organ donation can be comforting during a difficult time,” said Cathy Lucchi, Midwest Transplant Network Hospital Services Coordinator II. “Decisions by families of deceased donors and by living donors, together with the compassion and hard work of the critical care physicians and nurses at Freeman, mean more people are receiving life-saving transplants.”
Nationally, more than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ – one person is added to a waiting list every 10 minutes. By registering to be an organ donor, an individual can save as many as eight lives and directly improve the lives of up to 50 people through tissue donation. At the end of 2016, 73 percent of adults in Missouri are listed on the Missouri Donor Registry and 66 percent of adults in Kansas are listed on the Kansas Donor Registry. Individuals in Missouri and Kansas may register to be an organ and tissue donor by visiting YesTheyWantMe.com.
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