Turning Pain Into Peace Through Organ Donation

St. George, UT — (ReleaseWire) — 04/05/2022 — It can be difficult to see the silver lining during dark moments. But when a loved one is on the brink of death, it is possible to bring joy to someone else in need through the selfless act of organ donation.

Although it is not a position anyone would ever want to be in, according to YesUtah.org, many people have found a way to turn pain into peace when they make the decision to donate a loved one’s organs.

Currently there are approximately 1.78 million organ donors registered in the state of Utah, but Mike Wood, operations director of critical care at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital, said the goal is always to raise that number by increasing awareness and education on the topic.

“Be aware of your loved ones wishes; have those conversations before something tragic happens so you are not in a dilemma in the moment of crisis,” Wood said.

Because there are very specific donor criteria, only about 2 percent of deaths nationwide qualify for organ donation, according to YesUtah.org. So the vast majority of people who indicate their willingness will never be called upon to actually donate. However, all it takes is one person in the right situation to potentially be able to save up to eight lives.

“It’s not something taken lightly or casually,” Wood said. “The staff that is trained by Donor Connect to approach patient families do so with the utmost respect and sensitivity knowing they are approaching during an extremely vulnerable time.”

Geneya Jensen, a Donor Connect liaison and nurse in the ICU at St. George Regional, has been the person approaching families about organ donation in the past. Seeing the process from both sides — both the family of the donor and the recipient in the ICU — she is amazed at the fact that, even in the worst moments of life, there can be a very special experience.

Likewise, Wood said he has always been grateful to see something rewarding come out of something tragic.

“I’ve always been interested in organ donation, ever since my uncle was brain dead in an accident and donated his heart to a local resident in our community,” Wood said. “I was only 11 or 12, but that really stood out to me. It’s remarkable to see this glimmer of hope in people’s lives.”

For people wishing to donate, it is as simple as saying “yes” on the driver’s license form, Wood said.

However, if you’re not due for a trip to the DMV, you can sign up at YesUtah.org. You can also change your donation decisions on the web site at any time.

“There are so many things that can be done, even beyond the life saving organs, such as donating for research or agreeing to tissue and eye donations,” Wood said. “Even if you don’t directly save a life you may indirectly save many lives because of the research that is done.”

DonorConnect will be hosting a 5K fun run — Heroes in Disguise — on April 9th at Crosby Family Confluence Park, 2099 South Convention Center Drive in St. George, Utah, for which Intermountain is a primary sponsor. Click Here to register.

About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,600 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in clinical quality improvement and in efficient healthcare delivery. For more information about Intermountain, visit intermountainhealthcare.org, read our blogs, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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Media Relations Contact

Lance Madigan
Media Relations
Intermountain Healthcare
Telephone: 1-801-442-3217
Email: Click to Email Lance Madigan
Web: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/medical-specialties/transplant/become-a-donor