MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 News) – It is National Organ Donor Awareness Month and Intermountain Healthcare held a special celebration for donors and recipients.
Monday night was a special tribute to kidney and liver donors.
Recipients of these organs wanted to do something to show their appreciation, so each recipient gifted their donor with a “living organ donor challenge” coin to recognize them for their willingness to help others.
“Living donors means that you don’t have to wait on the transplant list, you don’t have to get sicker and sicker until your name rises to the top of the list to be able to get a deceased donor’s organ. And so, in this case, our patients get transplanted faster, get back to life quicker, they don’t become as sick. So that’s our goal is to provide them that early access to transplant. But we can’t do that without living donors,” said Dr. Diane Alonso, the abdominal transplant program director.
Since the transplant program started in Utah in 1986 a total of 1,231 living kidney transplants and nine living liver transplants have been performed, according to officials.