More New Jersey Residents Gave The Gift of Life in 2017 Than Ever Before
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ, January 17, 2018 – NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue in the state, announces that there were an unprecedented number of organ donors in 2017, the most in the organization’s 30 -year history and the third consecutive year that NJ Sharing Network has set an organ donation record with its life-saving work.
Last year, 190 New Jersey residents gave the gift of life, which represents 38 percent growth over the past five years. One organ donor can save eight lives by donating the following organs: heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines.
“Less than 1 percent of people who die are able to become an organ donor, leaving a small number of eligible donors each year. That is why it is so important for families to talk about donation in order to make an informed decision if that time ever comes,” said Joe Roth, President and CEO, NJ Sharing Network. “These numbers are a testament to our organization’s mission to save lives every day. This would not have been possible without the dedication of our staff, the excellence of our transplant laboratory, the commitment of our volunteer corps and, most of all, the generosity and compassion of the donors and their families.”
One man saved by this generosity and compassion is Milan Patel, a resident of Edison. After his health rapidly deteriorated, Milan was listed for a kidney transplant where he endured four-hour dialysis sessions three times per week. Near the end of 2017, Milan received his transplant and his health was restored.
“This life-saving transplant means that my brother will be able to live a normal life,” said Dipak Patel, Milan’s brother. “He can fulfill his wishes of finishing college and taking care of our parents.”
Similar to New Jersey’s life-saving numbers, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant wait list, reported that the national number of deceased organ donors exceeded 10,000 last year for the first time. This was also the fifth straight year of a record-breaking number of transplant surgeries with 34,768 performed in 2017. While these milestones reflect lives saved, there are still more than 120,000 people nationwide waiting for the gift of life and 22 die each day while waiting.
In addition to NJ Sharing Network’s life-saving work, the Foundation received record-breaking support from the community, raising nearly $2 million and completing over 6,400 volunteer hours. The Foundation is committed to increasing the number of lives saved each year through innovative transplant research, family support, public awareness and education about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
There are currently nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents awaiting a life-saving transplant. Every day, approximately three people are added to the New Jersey waiting list, and last year nearly 100 people died while waiting for a transplant. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can restore health to over 75 people. New Jersey residents can help save lives by registering as organ and tissue donors at www.NJSharingNetwork.org, having a conversation with family and friends and joining NJ Sharing Network at its upcoming events.
About NJ Sharing Network
NJ Sharing Network, is a non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery and placement of donated organs and tissue for New Jersey residents in need of life-saving transplants. NJ Sharing Network honors those who gave, pays tribute to those who received, offers hope to those who continue to wait, and remembers the lives lost while waiting for the gift of life.