Gift of Life Michigan sees third consecutive month of record number of organ donors

Three people in scrubs with heads bowed during pre-surgery moment of silence

For the third consecutive month, Gift of Life Michigan honored the wishes of a record number of organ donors, bringing hope for healing to the thousands of people still waiting for a life-saving organ.

In August, Gift of Life staff facilitated the wishes of 41 donors, which surpasses the number of donors honored in July and June at 40 and 39, respectively. The highest previous monthly number, 38, had been matched several times in the previous three years, according to Bruce Nicely, Chief Clinical Officer at Gift of Life.

“This is a testament to our dedicated staff as well as our hospital and transplant center partners,” said Nicely. “A single donor can save eight lives. The impact of this generosity is almost immeasurable.”

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Gift of Life is on pace to recover organs for transplant from 426 donors this year; that would exceed the totals of each of the previous two years and also set an annual record. In total, 1,048 organs were transplanted from 374 donors in 2020, which represents about a 10 percent increase in donors over 2019.

Gift of Life Michigan is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021. Since its founding in 1971, Gift of Life has honored the generosity of more than 9,500 organ donors, as well as more than 24,500 tissue donors. Despite the thousands of lives saved and despite adding about 250,000 names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry every year, more needs to be done. There are about 110,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ in the U.S., including about 2,500 here in Michigan.

“As long as there are people waiting for a new organ, there is more work to do,” said Nicely.

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