“Flags Across America” initiative honors organ and tissue donors

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FARMINGTON – Franklin Memorial Hospital has joined “Flags Across America,” a Donate Life America initiative that has donor hospitals collectively flying the Donate Life flag during April, to honor and celebrate the hundreds of thousands of donors and recipients whose lives have been affected by organ, eye, and tissue donation.

The concept is to make a very visible statement during National Donate Life Month about the importance of donation and the dire need for donors. This initiative is meant to encourage the public to designate donation decisions by registering their wishes in their state donor registries.

According to the New England Organ Bank, Maine residents can consent to organ and tissue donation when they apply for or renew their drivers license. The information is then made available to designated organ and tissue recovery organizations so that donation can occur after death and in fulfillment of the individual’s desire to donate and to help others. Maine does not require family consent to carry out ones wishes to be an organ, eye, or tissue donor.

“We are pleased to join together with our partners to spread the Donate Life message and honor organ and tissue donors. We hope this nationwide display of flags will make people stop, take notice, and take action to sign up to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor,” said Sara Pace Jones, chairwoman, Donate Life America. “To sign up to be a donor in your state could give someone a very precious gift-life.”

Heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver, bone and associated tendons, blood vessels, heart valves, skin and corneas are among the organs and tissues that can be donated. Currently, there are over 100,000 people in the United States waiting for a life-saving organ or tissue donation. On average, 17 people in this country die every day-6,600 each year-waiting for organ transplant.

For more information about organ and tissue donation and transplantation, go to the Donate Life Web site at www.donatelife.net or call the New England Organ Bank at (800) 446-6362.

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