Health Matters Spring 2019 - Page 22

Celebrating second chances LifeLink to honor spirit of individuals who make transplants possible eff and Jody fell in love in college, moved around the country through their work in church ministry and were eventually led back home to Geor- gia, where they have continued to raise their four children, Caleb, Abby, Ella and Ava. Tragedy struck their family in early fall 2016, when Ella devel- oped a severe headache that led to complications; she was rushed by ambulance to the local children’s hospital, and her family learned of Ella’s life threatening condi- tion — a mass in her brain pushed on her brain stem. Forty- eight hours later, the Bumgardner family made the decision to do- nate Ella’s organs. “We were praying for a mira- cle, but we soon realized that Ella could be a miracle for someone else through organ donation.” says Jeff. “There was meaning for Ella’s life. She is still living in the J recipients and a part of her is still with us, through them.” says Jody. This April, during the federal- ly sanctioned National Donate Life Month, LifeLink of Georgia will honor the spirit of those indi- viduals who make transplants possible — organ, tissue, and eye donors. We celebrate the lives of those who received their second chance — and finally, we call at- tention to the more than 113,000 — over 5,200 of whom are local men, women and children — still wait- ing for their gifts of life across the United States. “Each year we work together with community partners to in- form Georgians about the impor- tance of organ and tissue dona- tion,” says Dustin Diggs, FACHE, executive director, LifeLink of Georgia. “During Donate Life Month and every month, we share vital information about organ and tis- sue donation throughout the state and encourage every Georgian to learn the facts and commit to sav- ing lives.” Organ donation, with the pri- mary exception of living kidney donation, takes place after death, and provides the gift of life to tens of thousands each year through heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or intestine transplants. Without the generosity of organ donors those waiting will die. Register your decision to donate by visit- ing www.DonateLifeGeorgia.org, or when you get or renew your driver license or state identifica- tion card. LifeLink of Georgia is a non- profit community service organi- zation dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissues for transplan- tation. Visit www.LifeLinkFoun- dation.org or call 1-800-544-6667 with questions about organ and tissue donation. I Dr. Renehan Dr. Bradford 119 W Hansell Street, Thomasville, GA 31792 1(800) 689-6678 Affiliated with Southeastern Surgery Center “Excellence in Urological Care” Organ donation, with the primary exception of living kidney donation, takes place after death, and provides the gift of life to tens of thousands each year through heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or intestine transplants. I