Boone Memorial Hospital in Madison, WV held a CORE (Center for Organ Recovery & Education) Ceremony on April 9th to raise awareness about organ, tissue and cornea donation, and to inspire everyone during Donate Life Month to be a hero — to be an organ donor.
“Our close collaboration with CORE sets the gift of life in motion,” said Virgil Underwood, Boone Memorial Hospital CEO. “That process starts with creating a culture of donation within our hospital and includes being donation champions — raising awareness about the vital importance of registering as organ, tissue and cornea donors.”
Past organ recipients and donor families shared their heart warming stories and encouraged hospital employees and members of the community in attendance to consider becoming an organ donor, a decision that often saves not just one, but many lives.
Trista Price from Boone County shared the story of her best friend, Haley Moore, who passed away from a tragic car accident at only 17 years of age.
"I want everyone to know that my best friend is a true hero. She was able to save 6 lives through her donation," said Trista.
Amber Holestin of Boone County, reflected on the wonderful life of her husband, David before he passed away suddenly at only 39 with a heart attack in 2010. Their boys, Dalton, 17 and Daniel, 12 read letters from CORE of the many lives David saved with his donation. Two included recipients who were blind and now can see.
Approximately 11,000 people die annually who are considered medically suitable to donate organs, tissue and corneas, yet only a fraction donate. Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race or medical history.
Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Virgil Underwood and Chief Nursing Officer, Terri Castle presented gifts to each donor family and recipients. Joe McClure of Madison and Linda Buzzard of Drawdy, both recipients, spoke of how organ donation saved their lives.
"I was only days from dying," said Linda. "The heart transplant literally saved my life."
"I would just sit and cry thinking about how appreciative I was to my donor. I am just so thankful it's hard to even put into words," said Joe who received a kidney transplant.
Employees dressed in blue and green (CORE colors) and the Dietary Department served cake and punch. Hospital employee, Carol Smith won a $25 gift card for being the most "creatively dressed" said Marketing and Public Relations Director, Karlie Belle Price. "We encourage staff to get involved in our CORE initiatives. We try to make the activities fun and rewarding in hopes of educating the staff and public and, in turn, gain more organ donors.
Sarah Clemente, CORE’s hospital development coordinator for Southern West Virginia, said about 115,000 people in the country are now waiting for organ transplants, and those transplants could not happen without donors and without hospitals.
“Thank you for helping us with our life-saving mission,” she told hospital personnel in attendance. “We could not to do it without you.”
To learn more about CORE and how you can become a volunteer or donor visit:
View event album: HERE