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Organ Donation: The Gift of Life

Organ Donation: The Gift of Life

By SMH Senior Digital Communications Specialist Ann Key

A single organ donor can save up to 8 lives and can enhance the lives of more than 75 people through the gift of tissue donation. 

Yet there are more than 5,000 men, women and children in Florida desperately awaiting a life-saving organ transplant — and more than 107,000 across the US.

April is National Donate Life Month, a time designated to raising awareness about the critical need for organ and tissue donation, and it’s the perfect time for anyone not yet registered to sign up as a donor.

Be a Life Saver. Be an Organ Donor.


Registering to become an organ/tissue donor is easy, free and fast. Sign up at

Who Can Be a Donor? 

Nearly every individual has the ability to give the gift of life through organ, tissue and/or eye donation — regardless of age, race or previous medical history. 

One of the oldest organ donors in the US was 92 years old. He was a liver donor, and his gift saved the life of a 69-year-old woman.

Donors are needed for all races and ethnic groups. In fact, transplants are most successful when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic background.

To register in the National Donate Life Registry, you do have to be an adult (age 18 or older); teens age 15 to 17 can register their intent to donate, but a legal guardian/parent must make the final donation decision. 

Did You Know?

  • When you register as an organ donor, you can specify which organs and tissues you want to donate.

  • One person can potentially save 8 lives through organ donation (2 lungs, 2 kidneys, heart, liver, small intestine and pancreas).

  • One donor also can enhance up to 75 lives through tissue donation (including corneas, skin, veins, heart valves, tendons, birth tissue, ligaments and bone).

  • In the past 5 years, Sarasota Memorial Hospital has saved 229 lives through organ donation. In 2020 alone, 65 lives were saved through organ donation at SMH.

Not Yet Registered? 

Twenty-two people pass away each day in the U.S. because an organ was not available in time. 

If you’re not yet a registered organ donor, don’t wait. Register today (and encourage loved ones to do the same). It’s easy, free and only takes a minute at

Once you’re registered, be sure to share your donation decision with your friends and family, and encourage them to also register to be life savers.

Unsure whether you’ve already registered as an organ or tissue donor? Visit to verify or adjust your donor registration status. To check your national registration status, visit

Learn more at


Sarasota Memorial's Senior Digital Communications Specialist Ann Key manages Healthe-Matters blog and digital newsletter, as well as the health system's social media and other wellness content channels. Have a health question or a wellness topic you'd like a local expert to weigh in on, let her know: Send an email to

Posted: Apr 6, 2021,
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