[OMAHA, NEB., February 9, 2023] An Ansley teen who saved and healed dozens through organ and tissue donation is being honored for National Donor Day.
Celebrated annually on February 14, National Donor Day is an observance dedicated to spreading awareness and education about organ, eye and tissue donation.
Ely Dehart, a student at Sumner-Eddyville-Miller School, impacted 119 lives when he became a donor hero in 2020. Individuals in 21 states have been saved or healed by Dehart’s gift of life.
Dehart’s organ and tissue donation has restored the health and quality of life for people of all ages.
A 28-year-old mother received Ely’s right kidney. One of Ely’s tissue recipients recovered from debilitating pain that left her barely able to use her dominant arm and shoulder. Another tissue recipient was thankful for the opportunity to walk again following surgery to correct severe deformities to her feet caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Dehart’s mother, Jennifer Dehart, said Ely made it clear that he wanted to be a donor the day he got his learner’s permit.
“Donating Ely’s organs helps us all cope with the loss of him because we continue to hear from the recipients and know parts of our baby are still out there, living on in others,” she said. “He is a hero for doing so and that makes us all so proud.”
Currently, more than 300 people in Nebraska and 100,000 throughout the United States are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant.
In 2022, deceased organ donors in Nebraska made 236 lifesaving organ transplants possible. These donors also contributed to a record number of transplants being performed in the United States. For the first time in history, more than 42,800 organ transplants were performed in the country last year.
Additionally, 538 individuals in Nebraska donated tissues such as bone, skin and heart valves. Tissue grafts can prevent amputation, help people walk without pain, repair sports injuries and aid in reconstruction following breast cancer.
Anyone age 16 or older can register as an organ and tissue donor. Age, health and lifestyle do not limit an individual’s ability to register. Donor registration is available online anytime at LiveOnNebraska.org.
Every individual has the potential to save and heal 100 or more people with the donation of organs and tissues. These include the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestine, corneas, bone, skin, tendons, veins and heart valves.
Source: Nebraska Regional News
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