In honor of those who have donated and received organ donations, OSF St. Mary Medical Center today raised a Gift of Hope flag on the hospital’s campus.
More than 75 people gathered around a flagpole where donors, recipients and speakers shared their stories.
The Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organization that procures and coordinates organ and tissue donations in Illinois and Indiana.
Gift of Hope Director of Hospital Development Ron Skolek tells WGIL he was moved by the local ceremony.
“The employees here who were transplanted were originally seen at St. Mary’s hospital,” Skolek says. “You really don’t have to go to far in any community regardless of the size to touch donation in some manner and it’s never more evident then it was here today.”
Knox County Coroner Mark Thomas described tissue donation as “life enhancing.”
“It can help someone who couldn’t see possible be able to see,” Thomas says, “replace heart valves that don’t work any more, help aid crash victims that had bones, perhaps, crushed in an accident and they’re unable to repair those. So we just feel that from our end, it’s helping families through the grieving process.”
After the ceremony, people were invited to sign up as organ donors.