Heartland Lions Eye Bank works to increase organ donation

Troy Reddick from Heartland Lions Eye Bank is pictured with SCH Director of Nursing Carla Cook, RN, BSN and Emergency Department Supervisor, Thelma Norton, RN.

There are 120,000 Americans, including more than 2,000 Missourians, awaiting life-saving organ transplants.

Approximately 46,000 Americans will receive cornea transplants this year to save their sight.

Troy Reddick, a Partner Relations Coordinator from Heartland Lions Eye Banks, visited Scotland County Hospital in Memphis on Thursday to collaborate with hospital staff on strategies to increase donation at the hospital and raise local awareness about the growing need for eye, organ and tissue donation.

Last year, Heartland Lions Eye Banks provided tissue for 2,578 cornea transplant surgeries, which translates to a rate of seven people receiving the gift of sight every day.

Since 2011, four people from Scotland County Hospital have chosen to donate their corneas, and their generous decisions resulted in four sight-saving transplants.

Cornea transplants help people achieve independence and return to employment, and they can eliminate pain caused by corneal diseases.

All adults sign up for the eye, organ and tissue donor registry, regardless of age, gender, race, blood type or medical history. Signing up on the registry is the most effective way for Americans to officially notify their families and declare their desire to be a donor.

Click here to join the millions of Americans who have signed up for the eye, organ and tissue donor registry, or visit a local Department of Motor Vehicles office.