FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Indiana has been on pace to set a record year for organ transplants. About 150 people were the source for more than 500 organs in the first six months of 2021.
“I think that people need to realize that there are so many opportunities out there for them to be a donor, that they never need to rule themselves out,” Kellie Tremain, The president of Indiana Donor Network told WANE 15.
75% – 80% of Indiana’s registered drivers have signed up to be organ donors, which helps feed the need, b but despite the big start to the year, the list of Hoosiers needing an organ continued to grow. More than 1,000 Hoosiers were waiting for organs, at the time this story was published, with kidneys being the need at the top of the list.
“While it’s very difficult to have the conversation with their family about death, a lot of people don’t like to talk about that, they need to say ‘in the event that something happens to me, I want to be an organ tissue eye donor,” Tremain pitched.
Bucking the COVID trend of struggling organizations, Indiana Donor Network has been hiring and putting new facilities to use, which results in helping hospitals gain space to treat patients dealing with the coronavirus.
“During COVID we opened a five-bed ICU and have been transferring patients from hospitals to our facility to do the organ recovery process,” Tremain explained. “That has really helped a lot of things. That’s helped with hospitals having open beds for patients, who need them. It’s helped free up O.R. times in hospitals and it’s helped us recover and transplant more organs.”
“We need people to think about what they would want if they were to die, and to think about humanity and really just to dig deep in their heart and get more people help,” Tremain explained.
For more information or to register to be an organ donor, visit the Indiana Donor Network website here: https://indianadonornetwork.org/