January 21, 2021 – The patient was only 68 years old, but a stroke
ended her life. As a registered organ donor, her passing was not in vain.
Her generosity, and the efforts of Southeast Georgia Health System professionals,
gave three people the gift of life. One of her kidneys was transplanted
into a fellow Georgian, a mother of two. A 60-year-old man received her
other kidney, and the third patient received a liver transplant. The donor’s
heart was recovered for medical research and education purposes. This
donor gave three people another chance, but one organ and tissue donor
has the potential to save as many as 75 lives.
This life-changing story happened with help from the Health System and
LifeLink® of Georgia, a non-profit organization responsible for the
recovery of organs and tissue for transplantation. “Without the
support and hard work of your physicians, nurses and other medical staff,
the donation would not have been possible, but it all began with the patient’s
true generosity and concern for others,” says Dustin T. Diggs, FACHE,
Senior Vice President and executive director for LifeLink of Georgia.
The Health System encourages all Georgians to join their state’s
organ and tissue donor registry. It takes just five minutes to register
and the need is urgent. Every day, 20 people run out of time waiting for
a transplant, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration.
More than 108,000 people in the United States need an organ transplant;
more than 4,600 of them live in Georgia.
“Thousands of people are alive or living better lives today, thanks
to an organ or tissue transplant,” says Jan Jones, R.N., BSN, director,
Patient Care Services at the Health System. “Without selfless organ
donors, thousands of people – many who live among us – will
die. During this pandemic when so many of us feel powerless, becoming
a donor gives us the power to save lives.”
Jones says that while most donations occur after the donor’s death,
some organs and tissues can be donated while the donor is alive. “Four
out of every ten organ transplants are from a living donor. Several programs
exist solely to support the physical health and emotional health of living
donors because it is such an important component of organ donation,”
Georgians can join the state’s organ and tissue donor registry in
- Say yes to organ and tissue donation when you obtain or renew your driver
license or identification card at a local driver license office, or when
obtaining a hunting/fishing license through the Department of Natural
- Call Donate Life Georgia directly at 1-866-57-SHARE (1-866-577-4273) and
request a registry card.
If you have questions about organ and tissue donation, call LifeLink of
Georgia at 1-800-544-6667 or visit