LifeGift Extends the Lifesaving "Power of YES" to More Than 1,000 Patients in 2017
(HOUSTON, TX Jan. 9, 2018) – 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 nearly 400 individuals became organ donors and more than 1,000 became tissue donors in 2017 within LifeGift designated service areas. Of those donors, 43 percent were registered on the Donate Life Texas Registry, which recently hit a major milestone with reaching 10 million registered donors, making it one of the fastest growing registries in the country.
“In 2017, LifeGift was able to extend the lifesaving ‘power of YES’ to 1,061 recipients across our service area and the nation,” said Kevin Myer, president and CEO of LifeGift. “When someone agrees to organ, eye and tissue donation, either through the Donate Life Texas Registry as an individual or by a family experiencing the loss of their loved one, so many lives are saved and transformed. We thank our donor families – those who on the worst day of their lives help us offer hope to the thousands waiting on a second chance to live and enjoy life.”
From Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2017, LifeGift successfully coordinated the recovery of 382 precious, lifesaving organ donors, resulting in 1,115 organs transplanted.
Just as lifesaving, LifeGift recovered tissue, which includes skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, corneas, heart valves and other cardiovascular tissues from 1,078 donors in 2017. Of note was the number of heart valves recovered, which totaled 142, exercising the “power of YES” for children in need of cardiovascular surgery.
“Tireless dedication and perseverance continued to move LifeGift forward in 2017 as we emerged among the top performing organ procurement organizations in the country,” said Myer. “And it was this commitment that motivated LifeGift staff and leadership to stay operational in the midst of Hurricane Harvey, one of the most devastating natural disasters in recent history, allowing us to stay focused on our lifesaving mission. We offer hope around the clock, every day, all day, all the time. We are there for the ‘YES’.”
The lifesaving “power of YES” continues to be realized for Grover “Gary” Fickes, the Tarrant County Commissioner for Precinct 3 in Fort Worth. In 2008, he received the lifesaving gift of a new liver after he was told he would have 6 to 18 months to live. To Gary, “YES” means he’s here for his family and community.
“I’ve never met my donor family, but they will always be my heroes for making one of the toughest decisions of their lives by saying ‘YES’ to sharing the gift of life,” says Gary. To read more about Commissioner Fickes’ transplant journey, visit www.lifegift.org/GaryFickes.
Commissioner Fickes’ story is just one of the 12 stories included in LifeGift’s 2017 annual report/2018 calendar, “The Power of YES.” To see the publication in its entirety, visit http://www.lifegift.org/resources.