(NAPSI)—For people on the transplant waiting list, returning to health is a real and remarkable possibility. In fact, more than 90 Americans get another chance at life every day thanks to organ donors. How many of these inspiring facts about donation and transplantation in the U.S. do you know?
1. Transplants literally keep people alive. In 2016, doctors gave former NFL quarterback and head coach Sam Wyche just days to live. Then, the same day Sam said his goodbyes, he received a new heart from a donor and a second chance at life. After the surgery, Sam said he “felt 20, 30 years younger” and he’s now back to biking, riding horses, and traveling to see his grandkids’ football games.
2. One person can give many life-changing gifts. People can donate organs (heart, liver, pancreas, intestine, two lungs and two kidneys) plus tissues (corneas, skin, heart valves, and other parts). Altogether, one donor can save up to eight lives and improve over 50 more. It’s incredible how one “yes” can change so many lives.
3. You can register online in minutes. You can visit organdonor.gov to sign up on your state registry as an organ, eye, and tissue donor. It’s wonderfully fast and easy to make a difference.
4. You can donate at any age. You might think that when organs turn 60 or 70, they’re ready to retire. Nothing could be further from the truth! A 93-year-old liver donor from Texas once saved the life of a 69-year-old teacher; and in 2017, one of every three donors was over 50.
5. Transplants grow with young recipients. Organs transplanted into children can grow and function into their adulthood and beyond. These gifts can last a lifetime.
6. A little goes a long way with livers. When transplanted, a segment of a donor’s liver will grow within a recipient until it achieves the functional capacity of a whole liver.
7. Recent innovations mean more possibilities. Vascularized composite allografts (VCAs) like face and hand transplants involve multiple kinds of tissue, and they’re giving hope to service members wounded in combat, people injured in other traumatic situations, and those born with missing limbs or severe disfigurements. Registering as an organ donor does not provide authorization for VCA donation. Your family must provide that authorization at the time of your death. Learn more at organdonor.gov/vca.
Discover more about the surprising and inspiring world of transplantation and sign up to save lives at www.organdonor.gov, a website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.