April is National Donate Life Month. It’s a month encouraging others to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors and to honor those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
Krystal Lewis, with LifeShare of Oklahoma, said there are more than 600 people in the State of Oklahoma waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. While donations are needed, there’s a process to make sure the hospitals, like Comanche County Memorial Hospital, are prepared to get the donation exactly where it needs to go. That’s where LifeShare of Oklahoma comes in.
“We just make sure that the hospital staff understands their role,” she said. “And we’re working collaboratively to make sure that takes place and that the family supports it. We realize that’s a very critical time, a very difficult time for the family, and we want to make sure that family knows that, is aware of everything that’s going on during this process.”
Losing a loved one isn’t easy, but she said sometimes helping someone else live helps them through the tough time.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different families, and in those times, this sometimes is that glimpse of hope for them,” Lewis said.
She said there was a donor at CCMH that was able to save a life last year. In honor of those who’ve donated, CCMH recently had a ceremony where they raised a flag outside the hospital, to encourage others to register to donate and to honor those who have.
“We recognize that donation is a gift,” she said. “You’re giving the gift of saving someone’s life, and we want those people to be honored. In some cases, that is one of a person’s last wishes, and we want their wishes to be honored. We want their families’ decision to do a donation for this gift and opportunity to be recognized, and it brings awareness as well to the local area.”
If you’d like to become an organ, eye, and tissue donor, you can register at your DMV or tag office when you get your license, or you can register at lifeshareok.org. They also have more information on becoming a donor and how it impacts others on their website.