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Methodist Dallas Medical Center Dedicates ‘Wall of Heroes’ to Honor Organ Donors

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Dallas South News Wire (Methodist Health System)

Two visitors reflect upon the Wall of Heroes at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

Methodist Dallas Medical Center recently held a heartwarming dedication ceremony for the Wall of Heroes located on the third floor in the critical care waiting area of the hospital. The Wall of Heroes displays photos of those who have saved lives through organ donation. The Wall is a collaborative effort between the Methodist Dallas Donor Collaborative Team and Southwest Transplant Alliance (STA).

Donor families and donor recipients, as well as STA and Methodist staff and leadership, were present at the event. Calista Aston, whose husband, James, is featured on the Wall, stood with her three children as she shared how her husband’s donor recipient and his family have welcomed her family into theirs and include them in family reunions. “While the donor recipient’s family got to keep their loved one a little longer,” she says, “we have gained an extended family.” Aston also says her 12-year-old daughter told her, “It’s good to help save a life.”

Near her husband's photo on the Wall of Heroes, Calista Aston (right), with her children, Nickolas, Tabitha, and Krystal.

Shante Demerson, a donor recipient and educator, spoke about how receiving her transplant enables her to continue to help children and teach them the values she has experienced through the kindness of her donor family. “I am so grateful that I am now in the position to tell others it’s okay to give the gift of life, and how giving life can change someone’s life.”

Methodist Dallas Director Adult Critical Care Services Barbara Madden, RN, MSN, who leads the Donor Collaborative Team, says, “We want our donor families to feel well educated and supported before, during, and after the organ donation process.” She adds that the goal is to create a Wall of Heroes in the critical waiting areas on both the third and fifth floors of the hospital as memorials to patients and families who have donated.

More than 100,000 people in the U.S. and more than 10,000 people in Texas await life-saving organ transplants. STA and Methodist also hope the Wall and its dedication will inspire others to register as organ donors. Texans can officially register their decision to donate online at www.donatelifetexas.org.

  • http://phelps.donotremove.net Phelps

    My father received a liver transplant at Methodist last September. He would not be alive today without it, and God willing, he will be seeing his first grandchild in October.

    Please let your family know about your desire to donate your organs, and remember that when people talk about preventing people from “selling” organs, what they are really doing is preventing recipients from helping donors. I wish that I could give something to the family of my father’s organ donor, but it is against the law.

  • http://www.innovativestrategies.us Robert F. Hickey, Ph.D.

    Organ donation certainly is a good thing. Such acts truly save thousands of lives. Unfortunately, organs are never donated to people in need of an organ transplant. The system in this country has been perverted by the 59 Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO) across the country such as the Southwest Transplant Alliance.
    This OPO took had total revenue of $26.5 million in 2009 as indicated on its IRS 990 non-profit tax return available through http://www.guidestar.org. The CEO, James Cutler was paid just under $400,000.00 that year. The Soutwest Transplant Alliance has total real estate holdings of just over $5 million. This is supposed to be a non-profit entity. Not likely! So many more people needing human organ transplants could get them if these OPO were not so greedy.
    The Organ Procurement Fees charged by the OPO are outrageous. The executives and managers of these OPO have become multi-millionaires on the backs of people suffering from end stage diseases. There is no transparency! The human organ transplant system in the US is broken, corrupt, unethical, and unfair. Hopefully, there will be changes imposed upon these greedy organizations in the near future. Those changes will see the organ procurement fees reduced drastically which in turn many more people will get the life saving organ transplants they need.
    Congratulations to all those folks in Texas who have received their transplants. Now I urge you to contact your congressional representatives to have these reprehensible OPO execs brought before congress to be held accountable.
    By the way, I am one of the lucky ones in this country to have received a kidney transplant. I want as many others as possible to have that renewed chance at life in a fair and equitable system.

  • http://lifesharers.org David J Undis

    Your story about the ‘Wall of Heroes’ and Organ Donation highlighted the tragic shortage of human organs for transplant operations.

    There are now over 110,000 people on the National Transplant Waiting List, with over 50% of these people dying before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

    There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage – give donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

    Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. Everyone who is willing to receive should be willing to give.

    Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at http://www.lifesharers.org or by calling
    1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has over 14,660 members as of this writing, including 1179 members in Texas.

    Please contact me – Dave Undis, Executive Director of LifeSharers – if your readers would like to learn more about our innovative approach to increasing the number of organ donors. I can arrange interviews with some of our local members if you’re interested. My email address is daveundis@lifesharers.org. My phone number is 615-351-8622.

  • Donna Compton

    My son is on that “Wall of Heros”. Thank you for helping to keep their memories alive.

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