May 21, 2024

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Montgomery County organ donors honored at flag-raising ceremony

2 min read

EAGLEVILLE — The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office hosted the first-ever flag-raising ceremony in honor of organ and tissue donors on April 11, in partnership with Gift of Life Donor Program, the region’s organ and tissue procurement organization.

The event gathered Gift of Life leaders as well as state and county representatives to celebrate their collaboration and encourage organ and tissue donation in the county. Coinciding with Donate Life Month, a national observance in support of organ donation awareness, the ceremony also spotlighted the stories of organ recipients whose lives were saved by donation.

“We are happy to partner with the Gift of Life program to help change lives while offering dignity and respect to our deceased and their loved ones,” said Dr. Janine Darby, Montgomery County coroner. “As we work to bring closure to their loved ones, they also have the chance to honor and remember their departed family members by giving back. They are providing someone with a second chance at life.”

In addition to the coroner, ceremony attendees heard from state Rep. Joe Webster; Gift of Life President and Chief Executive Officer Richard D. Hasz Jr.; and heart and liver recipient Patrick Brett, among others.

“We thank the Montgomery County coroner’s office for honoring donor heroes and for working with Gift of Life to support families who face a tragic loss,” said Hasz. “Working together, our vital collaboration ensures donor families can find comfort and hope in knowing their loved ones can save lives and the coroner’s investigation will be fully supported.”

In 2021, more than 170 Montgomery County residents donated organs or tissue, resulting in 79 organ transplants and many more tissue transplants. Gift of Life Donor Program, celebrating its 50th year of service in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, coordinated more than 1,700 organ transplants across the region last year.

Gift of Life Donor Program, founded in 1974 and headquartered in Philadelphia, is the federally designated organ procurement organization for the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. It works with 126 acute care hospitals and 12 transplant centers in its region, as well as hundreds of transplant centers throughout the country, to provide the most comprehensive array of services available in the U.S. to the donation and transplantation community.

Gift of Life has coordinated 14,196 donors and 39,469 organs for transplant, the most of any OPO in the country since the inception of our national donation system in 1988. Overall, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 59,000 organs and more than two million tissue transplants since its founding. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and a tissue donor can improve the lives of about 100 others. For more information or to register, visit donors1.org.

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