(Jan. 12, 2017) – LifeGift, the federally-designated organ and tissue recovery agency, which offers hope to individuals needing transplants in 109 Texas counties in Southeast, North and West Texas, today announced that 415 individuals became organ donors and 1,084 individuals became tissue donors in 2016. Of those donors, 41 percent were registered on the Donate Life Texas Registry, the official organ, eye and tissue donor registry for the state of Texas which recently surpassed 9 million registered donors.
“In 2016, LifeGift was able to offer hope to more transplant recipients and donor families than ever before in its 30 year history,” said Kevin Myer, president and CEO of LifeGift. Because of the generosity of donors and donor families, many more people were helped in the midst of very tragic circumstances. We are grateful to all those who have given and to all those who registered in Donate Life Texas, indicating their decision to donate life.”
From Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2016, LifeGift successfully coordinated the recovery of 415 precious, lifesaving organ donors, resulting in 1130 organs transplanted.
Equally as important and just as lifesaving, LifeGift recovered tissue, which includes skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, corneas, heart valves and other cardiovascular tissues from 1084 donors in 2016. Of note was the number of heart values LifeGift recovered, which totaled 150, offering hope to children in need of cardiovascular surgeries.
In addition to coordinating lifesaving organ and tissue recoveries, LifeGift broke ground on a new state-of- the-art facility in Fort Worth towards the end of 2016. The organization also transitioned its clinical information system to iTransplant, which allows for effective tracking and sharing of critical donation information with transplant centers and hospital partners.
“During 2016, we also invested heavily in training programs to help our staff learn how to better serve families in crisis and make the decision to donate, all to increase our impact on the waiting list of people counting on us to help save their lives through transplantation,” said Myer.
LifeGift’s efforts in 2016 provided a source of hope for Houston resident, John Miller, who is waiting for a heart transplant.
As an Ambassador of Hope for LifeGift, he is learning about the intricate network that makes donation and transplantation possible.
“I’m encouraged and grateful for all the work that goes on at LifeGift and throughout the entire system,” said John. “And I’m confident that one day I will receive that lifesaving and life-changing call.”
“Our success in 2016 will carry us confidently as we enter 2017 with even more plans to impact our community through the powerful gift of donation,” said Myer. “Today more than 13,000 Texans await the gift of life through organ donation and countless others wait for tissue donations. LifeGift will continue its pursuit of saving lives compassionately, passionately and with professionalism as we celebrate our 30th year of offering hope.”