COLUMBUS — Lifeline of Ohio celebrates a year of unprecedented generosity from organ, eye and tissue donors in 2021.
The selfless decisions of 177 individuals to donate organs upon their death resulted in 463 organs transplanted, saving the lives of 418 recipients last year. In addition, 665 tissue donors gave the healing gift of tissue, 356 cornea donors gave the gift of sight and 387 placentas were donated to heal others.
“As I reflect on the lives impacted by donation this year, I am humbled by the benevolence of our community and grateful for the privilege of honoring the decisions of more donor heroes than any other time in the history of our organization,” said Andrew Mullins, CEO of Lifeline of Ohio. “We continue to be thankful for each of our donors and their families, the dedication of our staff members and the healthcare and community partners who make this impact possible. We are confident our efforts will continue to empower our community to save and heal more lives in 2022.”
Julie Farrier of Mansfield was one of the lives saved by organ donation in 2021. Julie was diagnosed with primary pulmonary fibrosis when she was 20. She lived a relatively normal life until sixteen years later when her situation became dire.
She was admitted to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on Feb. 28, 2021 after a scan of her chest revealed tearing in one of the major vessels of her lungs and heart – she was told she wouldn’t leave the hospital without a double-lung transplant. Within hours, she was placed on the national transplant waiting list and just four days later, on March 4, she received her second chance at life through a lifesaving transplant.
Ten months post-transplant, Julie says she is feeling great and is working towards going back to work as a physician assistant. Recently, she was able to swim under water for the first time in 16 years. While she does not know the identity of her organ donor, she is “incredibly grateful to my donor; I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for them and this most precious gift. I will be forever grateful.”
Lifeline of Ohio serves 78 hospitals in 38 counties in Ohio and two in West Virginia with a mission to empower the community to save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. This past year, the organization worked closely with donor families, partner hospitals and transplant centers to ensure every opportunity for donation was maximized to save the greatest number of lives.
Although a record number of lives were saved and healed through donation in 2021, there are currently more than 3,000 men, women and children in Ohio waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and hundreds more await tissue and corneal transplants. To register in the Ohio Donor Registry, go to lifelineofohio.org/register-as-a-donor/.