April Is National Donate Life Month
Dignitaries Visit Rockford as Families Speak about Organ and Tissue Donation
The life-saving efforts of the medical care teams at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center extend beyond the walls of the hospital and its clinics and involve collaboration with patients, families, and state and local agencies.
For the past six years, the Rockford-based facility has participated in the organ and tissue donation network organized by the State of Illinois. Today, dignitaries gathered to celebrate the collective progress made toward raising awareness of the critical and ongoing need for donor organs and tissue.
"In 2016, 26 tissue donors at our facility provided a total of 475 tissue transplants," said Dr. Edward Pyun, trauma medical director at OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center. “We are proud to have been able to impact so many lives, and thank the providers, partners, patients and families who made this possible."
Dr. Pyun noted that 2016 also saw 11 organ transplants thanks to the generosity of three organ donors. OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center is a Level I Trauma Center, the highest designation in the State of Illinois. It ranks in the top 15 hospitals in the state for tissue donation.
Before presenting a plaque to honor the hospital's work, Connie Boatman, Director of Life Goes On - the state's organ and tissue donation program - encouraged attendees to initiate conversations among friends, co-workers, and family about organ and tissue donation. "We are here today to make organ and tissue donation a social norm," said Boatman. "Currently, there are 6.2 million Illinois residents registered as organ and tissue donors but 4,700 still remain on the transplant waiting list."
A local family impacted by tissue donation also spoke at the event. 20-year-old Noah Gabriel Boos lost his life in an auto accident in February of 2004. Noah was a tissue donor and improved the quality of life of at least 23 recipients.
“Noah was the light of my life and I make it my mission to not let anyone forget that he lived," said Noah's mother, Gayle Boos. "We are so grateful that he lives on, not only in our hearts and memories, but through the Gift of Hope."
Illinois residents can register their wishes to become donors in the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry.