Osler recognized as a leader in organ and tissue donation

A few weeks ago, I watched a tear-jerking CBC News story about a bride who met the man who received her late son’s heart at her wedding. It was a beautiful story that really drove home the heart (pun intended) of organ and tissue donation and why we work so hard to raise awareness. Simply put: It saves lives.

I’m so proud of our team because our staff gets it. Earlier this summer, Osler was recognized with a Hospital Achievement – Provincial Conversion Rate Award from Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN).

This achievement is thanks to the effort and dedication of our staff and physicians, the compassion of patients and families, and a valued partnership with TGLN. In fact, our own Dr. Alexandra McMillan has been a strong advocate for organ donation and is one of only three physicians in Ontario to receive the TGLN’s Hospital Donation Champion Award.

But what has all of this hard work translated into?  Five years ago, we recorded a mere five donations. A record 22 organ donations from Osler patients in 2016 helped save no fewer than 61 lives.

Let that sink in for a minute.  That’s 61 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, and grandparents who got a new lease on life. Let me give you a sense of how those lives were saved:

  • 4 heart recipients
  • 10 lung recipients
  • 12 liver recipients
  • 30 kidney recipients
  • 3 kidney/pancreas recipients
  • 2 pancreas islet cell recipients.

And let’s not forget the expansive network of people affected by these 61 lives, plus the families of the organ donor that fulfilled the donors’ last wishes. That’s powerful stuff.

The truth is, we all have the power to be champions for organ and tissue donation. Research suggests that as many as 15 per cent of Ontarians mistakenly believe they are already registered, when in fact, they are not.

Today there are more than 1,500 men, women and children in Ontario waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Osler is proud to be among Ontario’s leading hospitals working to reduce that wait. Please join me in our advocacy efforts by registering as a donor today. Who knows? You could end up saving someone’s life someday – or a registered donor could save yours.

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