Today, we saw a light. As our relationship with Southwest Transplant Alliance (STA) continues to grow, we find ourselves inspired by the efforts of hidden heroes working in the world of organ donation. Speaking with some women from STA, a Texas Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), and working more and more with these angels that help connect families to the Legacy Gift Program, we’ve noticed that what they do is so much more than what they’re given credit for.
These generous souls work countless hours, tirelessly-with very little acknowledgement-but it’s not for a paycheck or publicity. No, they give their hearts and love to others in a way that really only the families touched by their work can fully understand, and we’re so blessed to have the opportunity to be a witness to their work. It’s about time for others to know about these incredible people!
From Sudden Death to a Gift of Life
Organ donation is usually wrapped in a sudden death that is both tragic and overwhelming. It can be an instant financial burden to the family that’s left behind, which often feels like too much to handle when combined with the emotional stress of loss. But, then there are these angels on earth who work for the OPOs, usually referred to as “Care Coordinators”. When the hospital staff makes them aware of a person who is going to pass, but can potentially give the life changing gift of organ donation, they take flight. In a moments notice, they are with the family giving them guidance and comfort during the decision process.
Meet Some of the STA Heroes:
This is not an easy job. The OPO staff are wrapped in the sadness and tragedy of the situation with the family, but they are the calm in the storm. They work many, many hours and stay with the family to help them with the decision to give life. Sometimes, they work 30 hours straight and stay with the family until the end. Some say yes, and some say no, but these special people give families the opportunity to clearly see their options, making themselves available to answer questions and provide hope and light in the darkness.
While many families know that their loved one would want to live on and give the gift of life to another, there are still many who have never discussed the subject of organ donation. These OPO angels help loved ones understand the many lives that can be touched and changed by a decision to donate.
Meet Some of the STA Heroes
Usually, once everything calms down, through the help of these hidden heroes, families find great comfort in knowing their lost loved one allowed another to continue living. The gift of life: a tremendous gift to give. With the help of a similar, Taylor was able to give the gift of life in Colorado during March of 2010.
Our Ongoing Mission
Giving the gift of life and spreading the “Outlive Yourself” spirit: two things that encompass the Taylor's Gift mission. So today, we want to acknowledge the heroes helping make miracles happen every day, angels who are Outliving Themselves. Without them, our work and world would not be the same.
We want to acknowledge and graciously thank Patti Niles of Southwest Transplant Alliance who has fostered a tremendous relationship with Taylor’s Gift Foundation, one that launched our Legacy Gift Program. OPOs in the United States are governmentally restricted so that they cannot financially, in any way, help these families where they see tremendous financial hardship. But now, that’s changing; STA is now able to vet families to Taylor Gift who can give!!!
Because of this and so many other things they do, we want to honor and thank STA for all of their amazing, purpose driven work they do for donor families across their region! You are truly unsung heroes and we thank you!!
Help Taylor's Gift Spark Hope in the Lives of Others: Contribute to the Legacy Gift Program