Local organ procurement organization announces increase in registered organ, eye and tissue donors, 428 lives saved through organ donation and a record-breaking tissue donation year, translating to more lives saved and healed
Donor Alliance, the federally designated nonprofit that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and most of Wyoming, recorded another impactful year in 2015, helping save the lives of 428 people through organ donation and transplantation. In addition, the organization worked with 1,624 tissue donors and their families to recover lifesaving and healing tissue that will provide bone and skin grafts to thousands of recipients in need.
The organization, which educates the public on organ and tissue donation and manages the state donor registries in Colorado and Wyoming, also announced that 997,879 names were added to the registries in 2015. The donor designation rate, or percentage of individuals joining the state donor registry, was at an all-time high this past year in Colorado with 67.8% of the state’s licensed drivers and ID card holders on the registry and 58.6% in Wyoming. The two states maintained some of the highest donor designation rates in the country.
Donor Alliance facilitated organ recoveries from 134 donors in 2015 helping save 428 lives across the country. The most lung transplants (59) ever took place last year and the organization tied the record for heart transplants (54) in a single year.
2015 was another landmark year for tissue donation and transplantation, including bone, skin, heart valve and joint donations. Topping 2014’s record year of 1,590, Donor Alliance worked with 1,674 generous tissue donors in 2015 and recovered enough tissue to heal or save the lives of tens of thousands in need. As medical technology advances and eligibility criteria expand it has become possible to utilize more types of tissue, which has allowed more people to give the gift of life through tissue donation. Additionally, Colorado and Wyoming’s increasing number of registered donors has translated into more tissue available for transplant.
“I know firsthand how difficult it can be to lose someone you love, but it has been healing for me to know that after Michael’s death he has gone on to help others in need,” said Kathy Guerrero of Erie, Colo., whose husband became a donor following his death last year. “It is heartening to know that so many other Colorado and Wyoming residents are making the same brave, generous choice.”
Despite the generosity of donor family members and the efforts of Donor Alliance staff and partner organizations, just over 2,700 people in the area continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant. For more information about donation, or to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, please visit DonateLifeColorado.org or DonateLifeWyoming.org.