Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Two Rush Health Systems hospitals, Rush Foundation Hospital in Meridian, MS and John C. Stennis Memorial Hospital in DeKalb, will partner next week with The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency to promote National Donate Life Month during April.
Rush Foundation Hospital will host its balloon release event and reception for honorees at noon on Wednesday in collaboration with the hospital’s Healthcare Christian Fellowship monthly meeting. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held in the parking lot in front of the Rush Ambulatory Building.
The lot is accessible via the 18th Avenue parking entrance across from the Rush Imaging Center.
“We invite anyone from the community who has had a personal experience with organ donation and transplantation to join us for these events. It is a special way to celebrate and give thanks for the lives that are saved through the generosity of others,” said Brother Dennis Duval, Rush Health Systems Chaplain.
“Our medical staff members and nurses are very dedicated to assisting our patients’ families when organ donations are made. They make every effort to be especially supportive and compassionate. This ceremony will be very meaningful to them as well,” Duval said.
John C. Stennis Memorial Hospital in DeKalb will hold its balloon release ceremony on Thursday at 2 p.m. in the hospital parking lot.
Throughout the month, emphasis will also be placed on the need for individuals of legal age to indicate their desire to donate by signing up on the Mississippi Donor Registry at www.DonateLifeMS.org.
“April is our busiest time of the year but a time we enjoy most, working cooperatively with our hospitals to make local communities aware of the need for organ, tissue and eye donors,” said Kevin Stump, MORA CEO. “Donate Life Month give us the opportunity to strengthen relationships and share our life-saving mission in a public and personal way.”
MORA staff members have worked with each participating hospital to individualize awareness events specifically for the facility and community with programs that often include donor families and transplant recipients.
Organ Donation Facts:
*More than 1,300 Mississippians are part of the 121,000 plus Americans in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.
*An average of 18 Americans die each day awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant.
*A new person is added to a national transplant list every 10 minutes.
*One organ donor can save 8 lives.
*One tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 50 people.