Ceremony Recognizes Organ Transplant Donors and Recipients
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri Health Care teamed up with Midwest Transplant Network and Heartland Lions Eye Banks to recognize organ donors and recipients Friday at University Hospital.
The event allowed donors and recipients to come with their families to honor those who have donated and who have received by decorating paper flowers and butterflies. The decorated cut-outs were then put up on a display board to be seen by all. People were given stickers, glue, and other crafts to help decorate the paper cut-outs.
Families whose loved ones had donated organs after they had passed away in 2010 were given roses that were personalized with the donor's name. The roses were replicas of the ones put on float in the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. in memory of their donation. A quilt also offered tribute to those who had donated. Its patchwork encompassed loved ones with birthdates, pictures, and unique patterns.
Doctors spoke about the progress they have made in medical science regarding transpants. Organizers spoke the names of the families affected by transplant donation, and family members even gave their personal accounts on how they had been affected by transplant donation.
The event also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the kidney transplant program at University Hospital. Since the first kidney transplant in 1972, more than 1,000 patients have benefitted from transplantation through the program.
The turn out of the event had Midwest Transplant Servicess coordinator Lori Clark happy.
"This is about par for the amount of people who came out today," Clark said. "We decided to start having this in the hospital compared to a park or somewhere outside, and we saw that more people would turn out."
The event encouraged Missouri residents to learn amore about becoming donors. Clark said people can visit Midwest Transplant Network's website or by signing up for the Missouri donor registry online. The ceremony also celebrated April as the "Donate Life Month."