Eau Claire, WI – More than 110,000 people across the United States are waiting for a lifesaving organ, tissue or eye donation; that’s more people than the country’s largest football stadium could hold. Of those, more than 2,000 are men, women and children in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).
To recognize the importance of donation, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is flying a “Donate Life” flag outside the hospital’s front entrance during April, National Donate Life Month.
Anne Pretasky, HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital registered nurse and manager of the hospital’s critical care unit, says despite advances in technology and medicine, lifesaving transplants are not possible without the selfless generosity of community members.
“Another person is added to the national transplant wait list every nine minutes and 17 people die every day waiting for a lifesaving organ,” says Pretasky. “Only 2-4% of people who die are eligible to be organ donors so that’s why it’s so important to have many people across the country on each state’s donor registry.”
Pretasky says choosing to be a donor can provide healing for both the donor and the recipient’s family.
“Years down the road people feel good about the decision their loved one made,” she says. “It gives their generous loved one a chance to live on and it gives the recipient more years to live and love.”
Did you know?
One organ donor can save up to eight lives. Organs can help patients in liver, kidney or heart failure, those who suffer from cystic fibrosis, those on dialysis, and many other common illnesses.
- One cornea donor could restore sight to two people whose blindness may have been caused by a traumatic eye injury, a serious infection or other corneal conditions.
- One tissue donor could heal up to 75 people. Tissue is used to treat severe burns and abrasions, and in reconstructive surgery for patients such as breast cancer survivors. Donor tendons are used to repair torn ligaments and damaged veins. Bone is used to help heal fractures or prevent amputation.
You can register to become an organ, tissue and eye donor at the Department of Motor Vehicles, by mail or online at: DonateLifeWisconsin.org.
For answers to common questions regarding donation, visit: www.donatelifewisconsin.org/answers.
About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.