Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH) is commemorating BeADonor Month with a new memorial display dedicated to organ and tissue donors and their families.
The display is installed in the waiting room of the hospital’s Critical Care Unit, an area where end-of-life conversations often take place with families of potential donors, and where people will be able to reflect on the gift of life that donors have made. The display’s tree of life is meant to represent strength and new beginnings.
The idea for a memorial at CCH first came from a donor’s family and the final design was approved by the hospital’s Organ and Tissue Donation Committee.
“At a most difficult time, donors and their families pursued the opportunity to give others the gift of life through organ and tissue donation; and in many ways, it’s the greatest gift someone can provide,” says Jeanette Despatie, President and Chief Executive Officer, CCH. “This new display is dedicated to all organ and tissue donors at CCH and their families who supported the decision to donate, saving and improving the lives of many people,” she adds.
April is BeADonor Month; a month dedicated to raising awareness for organ donation to help save more lives through transplants.
Today, in Ontario, there are more than 1,500 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant – including some in our very own community – and every three days someone will die because they did not get their transplant in time. Although more than 90% of Ontarians support organ donation, only 35% have registered. By donating your organs and tissues after death, you can save up to eight lives and improve up to 75 more.
While some believe that age or medical conditions prevents the opportunity to donate, in actuality, neither age nor health precludes someone from becoming an organ donor. Organ and tissue donation also does not impact funeral plans including open caskets. When you register, you can choose which organs to donate and you can withdraw your registration at any time.
“Registering to donate gives hope to those in your community who are waiting for a life-saving transplant. It only takes 2 minutes and could one day save lives,” says Dr. Chris Simpson, Executive Vice-President of Medical, Ontario Health. “I’m asking everyone who has not yet registered to do so at www.BeADonor.ca and then talk to your family about your decision.”
Since 2014, CCH has run its own organ and tissue donation program in partnership with Ontario Health (Trillium Gift of Life Network). Since then, the hospital has successfully facilitated 7 organ donations, directly saving the lives of 13 people, and improving the lives of many more thanks to over 100 tissue donations.
Last year, CCH was recognized by Ontario Health (Trillium Gift of Life Network) with the Eligible Approach Rate Award for outstanding efforts in facilitating a donation discussion with eligible patients or families of patients at end-of-life.
With a registration rate of 41%, the City of Cornwall exceeds the provincial registration average of 35%, ranking 128th out of 170 communities in Ontario. Learn more and register your consent to be an organ and tissue donor today at www.BeADonor.ca.