Each year in Ohio, approximately 200 people die waiting for an organ transplant. Statistically, one person dies every other day.
As transplantation of hearts, kidneys, lungs, pancreas and livers has emerged as the preferred and most successful treatment of many life-threatening diseases, the need for these life-saving gifts has increased. Today there are more than 120,000 Americans on the transplant waiting list, with at least 3,400 waiting at one of ten transplant centers in Ohio.
Unlike other medical afflictions, there is no need to race for a cure for these individuals. The cure exists, and it depends on the generous decision of one person to share life at the end of life. It is simply people helping people.
The importance of registering your decision to donate is critical because the opportunity to donate is so rare. In 2013, only 288 Ohioans actually donated organs at the time of their death. Their gifts of life resulted in 962 life-saving transplants. If that number seems small, it is because organ donation occurs primarily when a person dies on a ventilator. This occurs in less than one per cent of all deaths.
The wait for a transplant is unique to every individual. Some wait years. Some wait months. In rare cases, lucky people wait only days or weeks for a call that says the needed organ is available. In all cases having your name on the transplant waiting list puts your future in the hands of a stranger.