Donate Life Month: Organ Donation Saves, Changes Lives

By: KKTV Email
By: KKTV Email

It's National Donate Life Month in April, and Penrose-St. Francis Hospital says already 19 lives have been saved by organ donors in our community.

Still, there are many more patients, 2,000 in Colorado and Wyoming in-need of a transplant, waiting on a list, uncertain about their futures.

It's not like giving blood, but if you had died, and were able to save others, would you want to? Joe Korvarik hopes you would. He was lucky enough to receive a heart from a 17-year-old boy who died suddenly in southwest Colorado back in 2001. That's after Joe had been diagnosed with a genetic heart condition.

Now, 10 years later Joe is praising the generosity of those who choose to donate their blood and organs in that unthinkable circumstance of death.

"The main message is just to realize the huge impact it has on's not just the patient, but all that person's family and friends whose lives are impacted," said Korvarik.

According to medical experts, just one donor can save the lives of up to eight people (through the use of multiple organs), and enhance the lives of up to 100 others.

Tissue is needed to replace bone, tendons and ligaments lost to severe trauma, cancer, and other diseases. Corneas restore sight, heart valves repair cardiac defects and damage, and skin grafts help burn patients heal.

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