Nebraskans go above and beyond in another area of generosity

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Nebraskans are known for helping their neighbors, so it’s no surprise when we read stories about farmers coming together to harvest a sick neighbor’s crops or going above and beyond when they hear about someone who’s lost everything in a tornado or flood.

But a lot of Cornhuskers go a step farther with something more precious than time or money.

In 2019, more organ and tissue donations than ever took place in Nebraska, according to the Live On Nebraska organization.

The number of tissue donors in Nebraska increased by more than 300% over 2018, and the number of deceased organ donors was the highest since 2016.

Valentine’s Day is National Donor Day, which honors those who save and heal others through organ, tissue, blood and bone marrow donations.

In 2019, there were 331 organ transplants in Nebraska, 71 deceased organ donors and 608 deceased tissue donors.

Nationally, there were 39,718 organ transplants, 11,870 deceased organ donors and less than 39,000 deceased tissue donors.

Live On Nebraska began facilitating birth tissue donations in 2018, which includes the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid. These tissues are donated following delivery via full-term, planned C-sections. Normally discarded after delivery, birth tissues have proven effective in healing patients with chronic wounds, traumatic burns and ulcers. In its first full year of birth tissue recovery, Live On Nebraska facilitated donation from 201 donors.

On the other end of the spectrum, a 103-year-old donor gave the gift of life, the oldest donor in Live On Nebraska’s history.

“We are proud to have served more donor families, and to provide hope and healing to more people than ever before,” said Kyle Herber, president and CEO of Live On Nebraska. We are committed to continual growth and providing even more opportunities to make a difference for those in need of a transplant,” he said.

“Of course, none of this would be possible without our donor heroes and their families. We are forever grateful for their generosity.”

The need is real; more than 112,000 Americans need a lifesaving organ transplant, including 400 in Nebraska.

Every individual has the potential to save and heal more than 100 people with the donation of organs and tissues. These include: heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestine, corneas, bone, skin, tendons, veins and heart valves.

In Nebraska, anyone 16 or older can register as an organ and tissue donor. Age, health and lifestyle do not limit an individual’s ability to register.

Donor registration is available online anytime at LiveOnNebraska.org.

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