NJ Sharing Network: Organ Donations Saved 460 Lives in New Jersey in 2014

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Donation Statistics Released During Donate Life Month

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"Each transplant represents a life saved in New Jersey and one less person who will die on the waiting list, " said Joe Roth, President & CEO of NJ Sharing Network.

Organ donations saved the lives of 460 people in New Jersey last year, a figure released during Donate Life Month by NJ Sharing Network, the non-profit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue in the state. Donate Life Month is a national, month-long observance to celebrate the greatest gift—the Gift of Life.

The organs came from both living donors and deceased donors. The living donors accounted for 166 donations, which were all kidney donations.

The organs from deceased donors that saved lives in 2014 were:

  •     Kidney: 168
  •     Liver: 55
  •     Pancreas: 2
  •     Kidney/Pancreas: 12
  •     Heart: 66

“Each transplant represents a life saved in New Jersey and one less person who will die on the waiting list,” said Joe Roth, President & Chief Executive Officer of NJ Sharing Network. “All through the year, and especially during Donate Life Month, we work to spread awareness about the gift of organ donation and encourage people to register to be donors.” Some of the 460 patients received more than one organ, accounting for the slight discrepancy in numbers.

The Gift of Life

Dorothea Duffy of Lincoln Park was among those who received a life-saving gift last year.

"I was on dialysis and was on two waiting lists for a kidney transplant for almost four years. Then, in January 2014, I was blessed with the long awaited kidney transplant,” she said.

“It has been 14 months and I am doing very well, free from the three days a week dialysis routine. Taking advantage of this revitalization, I've been able to increase family, social and volunteer activities. I am eternally grateful to my donor family for making the decision to give the Gift of Life through their loved one and change my life forever."

More than 2.5 million people in New Jersey are registered as organ and tissue donors. Transplantable organs include kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, pancreas and intestines. One organ donor can save the lives of as many as eight people.

Died While Waiting for Gift of Life …

Last year, 143 people listed at a NJ Transplant Center died while waiting for a life-saving organ. Another 200 were removed from the list because they became too sick to receive a transplant.

The Power to Save a Life

A total of 282 people in northern and central New Jersey met the criteria to become organ donors when they died last year. Of that number, 175 families followed the donors’ wishes to donate or generously agreed to allow their loved ones to give the gift of life.

Yet the deaths of 107 people who also met the criteria did not result in any donations because the families declined to allow organs to be donated.

“We offer the option of donation to every family and we respect each choice,” Roth said. “Yet we are saddened that every year nearly 250 organs that could save the lives of people in our state are not donated. With more education, we believe we can obtain higher consent rates and greatly reduce the number of people who die in New Jersey waiting for an organ.”

During Donate Life Month, many recipients, donor family members and supporters share their stories at community events to show how donation can bring new life to recipients as well as comfort to donor families.

To learn more, get involved, and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit http://www.NJSharingNetwork.org.

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Carol Ann Campbell
Campbell Health Media
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