POINT PLEASANT — Each day, 22 people die for lack of an available organ and each year, Pleasant Valley Hospital partners with Donate Life West Virginia to help save lives by educating the community about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation, and increasing the number of registered donors.
The annual celebration and flag raising ceremony will take place at 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 5, starting in the main lobby at PVH.
“The most precious gift someone can give is the Gift of Life,” Glen Washington, FACHE, CEO, PVH, said.
Kevin Scot, who is celebrating 2 years as a liver recipient, explained: “You never know if someone you love will need that gift or if you will have the opportunity to give. Life can go on.”
Scot was the recipient of a life-saving liver transplant on Jan. 10, 2015 at The Ohio State University. After two years of fighting health issues and progressing liver disease, his transplant came just in time.
“I felt my time was running out,” Scot said about life just prior to receiving the liver, speaking to those gathered at last year’s ceremony at PVH.
When he did receive the liver, he told those gathered it was a “bittersweet” trip to Columbus “because I knew someone was dying to give it to me.”
After a nearly nine-hour surgery, Scot’s transplant was complete but his recovery continues with the help and support of his family.
“My family gave me the courage to fight my fight,” Scot said last year, adding, he owes his life to organ donation.
Also speaking at last year’s ceremony, Brandy Barkey Sweeney who underwent a life-saving heart transplant at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She said she remembered laying on the surgery table before being put under, looking up at the lights and praying thanks to God and the donor’s family.
“God was in control the entire time,” Sweeney said at last year’s ceremony.
Sweeney would add: “Inside of me, beats the heart of a hero…that’s what he (the donor) is to me. Not only did he save me but he gave my children a mother.”
According to PVH and Donate Life West Virginia representatives, you can help in three steps. First, visit www.donatelifewv.org to learn more about donation and how to register. Do not be discouraged by your age or past medical history – anyone can be a potential donor.
Second, talk with your family about your decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. You can even share your donation preference on Facebook, using the “Life Events” feature on your Timeline.
Finally, tell others about the need in our community, and how every person can make a difference. One person has the potential to save eight lives through organ donation and enhance 50 more through cornea and tissue donation.
Visit www.donatelifewv.org to learn more about donation and to register online.
(Editor’s note: Some information for this article provided by PVH.)