How to Save a Life

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, There are currently over 120,000 people in the United States who need a lifesaving organ transplant, and 13,000 of those people are in Texas. Every ten minutes, someone is added to the national transplant waiting list. In the past year, there were over 2,500 transplant procedures in the U.S., and nearly 1,200 donors. A single donor can potentially save eight lives.

Caucasian nurses rushing organs and patient on rooftop

Every year National Donate Life Month is celebrated in April, with the goal of encouraging more Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

“Organ availability is a huge issue affecting those who are on the waiting list,” said Dr. Mark Hobeika, transplant surgeon with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) and assistant professor of surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. “Any efforts that can be done to improve organ donation rates are ultimately saving lives.”

“National Donate Life Month is a celebration of LIFE and the ripple effect that occurs when someone says ‘YES’,” said Kevin Myer, president and CEO of LifeGift. “Saying ‘YES’ to donation is a powerful decision – one that impacts so many lives in countless ways.”

It is the mission of the Transplant Center at Memorial Hermann-TMC to provide hope and life-restoring care to patients with end-stage organ failure. Our talented and experienced physician team provides multidisciplinary care to adult and pediatric patients in need of a new liver, kidney, pancreas or heart. In addition, Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute-TMC just recently launched its new Lung Transplant Program.

A Call to Remember

In November 2015, Houston businessman Shahzad Bashir received a call he will never forget. After spending nearly 45 nights in the hospital due to a failing liver, he finally got some good news: they had a liver for him.

Less than two weeks after the transplant, Bashir was discharged from Memorial Hermann-TMC.

“In my work and personal life, I am very much back to normal,” Bashir said. “The compassion, care and relationship the transplant team at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center developed with me cannot be expressed in words or measured in any way. Before my own transplant, I did not know anyone who had a transplant. To say that I am now an advocate for donor registration is an understatement.”

Bashir has encouraged all of his family to become organ donors.

“A single transplant can impact so many lives,” Bashir said. “A transplant is the start of a new journey and gives you a whole different attitude towards life and other people. My health is currently as good, if not better, than several years ago before I had my transplant. After having my life saved, I can only hope to one day return the favor.”


Donation Saves Lives

Memorial Hermann-TMC proudly flies the Donate Life flag at the corner of Fannin Street and Cambridge Street, in honor of all those who give the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. This is part of the Flags Across America project sponsored by Donate Life America, which honors and celebrates the hundreds of thousands of donors and recipients whose lives have been affected by organ, eye and tissue donation.

Last year, Memorial Hermann-TMC became the first hospital in the Texas Medical Center to offer families of organ donors the opportunity to fly a smaller, individual Donate Life Flag in honor of the legacy left by their loved one through organ donation.

When you see the smaller Donate Life flag flying below the larger one on the Memorial Hermann-TMC Campus, you will know that someone is being honored for generously offering the gift of life.

Sign up to be an organ donor.

Watch how a transplant saved a child’s life or read more patient stories.

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Tashika Varma