Honoring the Gift of Life

October 25, 2015

flagOn Friday, October 2nd, Bassett Medical Center joined with the Center for Donation and Transplant (CDT) in raising the Donate Life Flag to help honor a local organ donor whose gifts of life helped save two other New Yorkers. The flag was raised outside of the Bassett Health Clinic across from the hospital.

For several years, the hospital has partnered with CDT to honor patients and their families that choose to give the gift of life through organ or tissue donation at the hospital. Bassett Medical Center flies or displays a Donate Life Flag each time organ or tissue donation is facilitated at the hospital.

After the flag has been flown or displayed for one week at the hospital, it is given to the donor's family in memory of their loved one as part of an aftercare packet designed to help families cope with their grief and honor their loved one's legacy in saving lives. Bassett also displays the flag during National Donate Life Month in April to help raise awareness of the extraordinary benefits of organ and tissue donation.

"Raising the Donate Life flag allows us to honor the gifts of life given by organ and tissue donors and gives us the meaningful opportunity to thank donor families for making the courageous and selfless decision to say yes to donation," Michael Thibault, executive director of CDT said. "The staff at Bassett have continuously offered support and compassion to donors and donor families throughout our several years of work with them. It is an honor to be able to join with the staff and the families that have made such lifesaving gifts possible by participating in the Donate Life flag program."

Bassett Medical Center President and CEO Dr. Vance M. Brown expressed his gratitude to the family of the local organ donor. "We grieve with the families that lose a loved one and cannot adequately express our thanks to those who find it within themselves to help others through organ donation.
Bassett's support of families who wish to give the gift of life is unwavering because the need is real. I would encourage everyone to discuss this topic with their loved ones well in advance of having to make a decision."

In 2014, through the facilitation of organ donation and recovery, Bassett Medical Center helped save nine lives.

The need for organ donation in the United States has reached epidemic proportions, with more than 122,500 Americans currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant. In New York State alone, more than 10,200 New Yorkers are waiting. The need is especially urgent given the low percentage of New Yorkers actually registered on the New York State Donate Life Organ and Tissue Registry. The state average is 24.5 percent of residents registered, which is lower than the average 33 percentage of registered donors in Otsego County.

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