Madison, WI – Twelve years ago Mary Myskewitz and her family were faced with something they never expected – their 20 year old son was dying and his physician was asking them if he had spoken to them about organ donation.
“All of the family present answered yes in unison,” recalls Myskewitz. “The bell went off and we knew we had to do it. That was easy because we had talked to him in the past and knew it was his desire."
Myskewitz’s son Rob was able to help more than 55 people with that one decision thanks to his organ, eye and tissue donation. And that is what she says is the true miracle.
“Just 2 percent of people die in a way that makes the gift of life possible,” she says. “That’s what makes Rob’s death so amazing. To think of the chain of events that had to happen to make his organs available to help so many people is a miracle in itself.”
Mary will be speaking in the main lobby of St. Mary’s Hospital on Thursday, April 11th at 11:15a as part of National Donate Life Month. She says it’s the least she can do to spread the word about the importance of becoming a donor and having the conversation with your kids and family.
“A good time to do it is when young people are getting their driver’s license,” she says. “Kids can also learn how mom and dad feel about the subject as well and that can help them decide.”
In addition to hearing Mary speak, representatives from St. Mary’s and UW Organ and Tissue Donation (UW-OTD) will be on site with more information about organ donation. Attendees can learn more about the difference organ donation makes, how many people are waiting for organs and even sign up to become a donor on site.
Organ Donation Statistics:
· Last year UW-OTD worked with 115 donor families, resulting in 443 organs transplanted.
· Nationally, more than 117,000 people are on the waiting list for a transplant, 1,760 are children.
· In Wisconsin, more than 2,100 people are on the organ waiting list.
· Every day in the U.S., 19 people die waiting for their organ transplant.
· There were 14,013 organ donors nationally in 2012.
· To legally authorize organ, tissue and eye donation, register on Wisconsin’s Donor Registry at: www.YesIWillWisconsin.com
· Even if you already have an orange donor dot on your driver’s license, if you haven’t registered online or said yes to donation at the DMV since March 29, 2010, please register online today.
· Tell your family that you support donation, and that you have registered as a donor.