SSM Health Care of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Encourage Registration During Donate Life Month
Registering to be an organ and tissue donor can help others in need and make difficult decisions easier for loved ones during a time of tragedy
Right now, approximately 2,000 Wisconsin residents are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Thousands more are waiting for life-improving tissue transplants.
Miranda Voss knows all too well how difficult the decision to donate a loved one’s organs can be for families. As a nurse in the St. Mary’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit, she often helps families transition through very difficult situations. She also understands the decision on a very personal level. As a teenager, her brother Josh was killed in a car accident. Despite valiant efforts to save his life, Josh was declared brain dead. His family went on to honor his wish to be an organ donor.
“His comment when asked if he wanted to be an organ donor was ‘Sure, I’ll be a donor. If I’m not here, my organs aren’t going to do me any good so they might as well help someone else,’” says Voss.
In Wisconsin, and across the nation, the need is very real. Here are a few statistics that highlight the importance of registering every eligible donor:
- In 2012, 8,143 donors and their families in the US donated their loved one’s organs. That includes 192 families in Wisconsin. Thanks to these donations, 28,053 organ transplants were done across the country in 2012, including 646 in the state of Wisconsin.
- Thousands of people are waiting for bone or soft tissue transplants.
- 19 people die every day because they do not receive the organ they need to survive.
- Every 11 minutes another person’s name is added to the organ transplant waiting list.
- Because only two to three percent of people die in a manner that allows for organ donation, it is important for all eligible donors to register.
- According to research, more than 90 percent of Americans say they support donation, but fewer than 40 percent know the essential steps to take to be a donor.
To help increase the odds that people in need receive the transplants that could greatly improve or even save their lives, St. Mary’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Janesville Hospital, St. Clare Hospital and Dean Clinic encourages every eligible organ and tissue donor to register through the state’s online registry: YesIWillWisconsin.com. Registering takes just a few minutes and can help families make very difficult decisions in the midst of great tragedy.