Need for multicultural organ donations

Health

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- The state of Georgia is breaking records when it comes to organ donations. The state is also trying to break barriers. There is still a need for multicultural organ donations.

“Because our numbers are so high, I don’t even think that we are scratching the surface,” says Bobby Howard, Life-link director for the state of Georgia.

Nearly 60% of people on the national transplant waiting list are from multicultural communities. Although transplants can be successful regardless of ethnicity, research shows the survival rate is higher when both the donor and recipient share the same genetic background.

“When he was six years-old, it was a child that was his age and his size.”

Emily Glisson experienced this first hand with her son. Jackson McBride was only 18 months old, when he had his first transplant. Five years later due to some complications after receiving part of his mothers’ liver, his name was placed at the top of the list again for another liver.

“I remember sometimes I would think, I don’t think we could get this liver in time.”

Organ Donation is a gift that provides second chances. Hospitals are required by law to contact their local organ recovery organization any time someone passes away so that donation may be considered as a possibility.

Bobby Howard is the director of the multicultural donation program with Life-link in Georgia. He says educating the community about the importance of considering organ donation is one of the reasons those numbers tend to fall short.

“There’s questions like ‘is there going to be a cost for donation’, ‘was everything done to save my loved one’s life’.”

Someone made a selfless decision that saved McBride’s life and because of that he has also registered himself as an organ donor to pay his gratitude forward. But he’s not the only one in his family to take that step, his mother did too.

“Without them we wouldn’t be here, he wouldn’t be here.”

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