LONGVIEW - The families of local organ donors were honored on August 30.
Just off Highway 80 in Longview at Good Shepherd Hospital, families gather to commemorate the loss and gift of life.
Southwest Transplant Alliance and Good Shepherd have come together to honor local organ donors and their families.
"There are people that are awaiting a transplant, a lifesaving transplant that could die at any moment and because of the selfless gift of these people that we're honoring today they are alive today,” Katie Whitton with Southwest Transplant Alliance said.
A little known fact: by law a hospital cannot be involved or facilitate the process of donating organs. It legally has to be done by a third party organization such as South West Transplant Alliance.
"Once the decision has been made we counsel the families; we give them compassionate care,” Whitton said. “We take care of the donor and recover the organ, and we make sure the organ is allocated appropriately and fairly.”
Salem Novak is the parent of a 2-year-old that was given another chance at life. Her son, Stark, who is appropriately named after a comic book super hero Iron Man, was born with half a heart. Salem took the time to share her story of gratitude with the families of the donors today.
"It’s taught us to be grateful that not every day is promised and to enjoy the little things the small things even the irritating things. We're so blessed for all of it because we almost lost him,” Novak said.
To become a donor, you can register with the Department of Public Safety and have it indicated on your driver’s license, or register online here.
CBS19 was told one person can save up to 12 lives.
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