The Life of a Donor - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

The Life of a Donor

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Thousands of people in Louisiana are waiting for a second chance at life, and organ donation could be their only hope.

For some people, an organ transplant can be a lifesaving procedure.

“It gives us the opportunity to participate in something and be part of a transition of a gift of life,” said Michael Doiron with the Rapides Parish Coroner’s Office.

That’s why the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency and the local coroner’s office have joined together to talk about the importance of giving life after death.

 “To meet the people that it has helped & to see the families that have donated and how it’s affected their lives makes a remarkable difference in our job, which is not really pleasant all the time,” said Doiron.

A registered donor can save up to nine lives, restore sight for two people and help those in need, regardless of age or health’s gotta be the hardest decision, and to be thinking about someone else at a time like that is just extraordinary.”

At Rapides Regional Medical Center, a donor memorial wall has been set up for those who are gone, but not forgotten.

LOPA family advocate Larabee Thompson, holds one person on this wall close to her heart – her son Garrett.

“His death was an accident, an unnatural event and so the coroner had to release him to be able to be a donor, so we were thankful they allowed that gift to happen,” said Thompson.

Not only does organ donation help those in need, it also aids in the healing process for the families who have lost their loved ones.

 “Garrett’s death was quite a shock, and a tragedy, and donation was a bright spot. It gives us hope and continues to give us hope.”

Though Garrett was gone at such a young age --

 “Knowing that four other children live on… They’re young adults now, it’s been seven years, and so knowing Garrett lives on in the lives of others gives us comfort every day. He’s my little hero.”

If you don’t already have that little pink heart on your driver license, you can register to be a donor the next time you renew it, or visit donatelifela.org
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