Right now, there are more than 3,000 people in our region waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and one person can save and heal more than 75 lives by registering as a donor. The goal of LifeSource is to see a day where no one dies waiting for a life-saving transplant. Transplantation is a unique field of medicine. One can’t simply schedule a transplant; another person needs to selflessly give to save another’s life.
Emily Larimer is a Hospital Partner Liaison, serving western South Dakota. Emily has witnessed firsthand the profound impact of saving lives through donations, when one of her child’s life was taken in a tragic accident. “Nehemiah, the youngest of my three children, he designated on his driver’s license that he wanted to become a donor just a few months prior to a tragic accident which took his life. Through LifeSource and Monument Health Rapid City Hospital, my son’s wishes were honored, and several recipients were offered a second chance at life.” – Emily Larimer, Hospital Partner Liaison, LifeSource
It can be a hard topic to talk about, but an important issue that LifeSource has tips on how to get people talking. One of the best pieces of advice is to connect the donation decision around your values. Families of a donor often experience peace knowing their loved one saved other people and demonstrated their values of generosity even in death.
Karla Nygren is a Hospital Partner Liaison representing eastern South Dakota. Prior to her current role with LifeSource, she was a Donation Coordinator RN with the organization. Karla has over 20 years of nursing experience primarily emergency and critical care. Karla has worked with both recipients as well as donor patients, where she has been inspired by the gift of life. “We offer hope and healing through organ, tissue, and eye donation. Prior to joining the LifeSource team, I worked at a major healthcare center as an emergency/critical care nurse and patient care supervisor. These roles gave me the honor of a rare glimpse into the lives of the recipients, donor patients and families. I work to help facilitate donation. When someone designates themselves a donor, that last act of giving deserves to be honored in the best way possible.” – Karla Nygren, Hospital Partner Liaison, LifeSource
There are also many misconceptions when it comes to organ, tissue and eye donation including thinking you are too old. The oldest organ donor was 95. Other misconceptions include thinking you cannot be a donor if you’ve had cancer or a serious medical condition. In fact, there are few medical rule outs, and science and innovation are making more donations possible. Andrew Brown also serves as a Hospital Partner Liaison for LifeSource, overseeing eastern South Dakota. Andrew says a strong collaboration is key to make donations happen. “Collaborating with professionals to save lives inspires me daily. I teach, I listen, I learn, I lead, but most of all, I serve. Prior to joining LifeSource, I worked in a variety of administrative and research roles within the healthcare community. The gift of life comes and goes. For those we can help save and for those we can honor and remember, I work to be a good steward.” – Andrew Brown, Hospital Partner Liaison, LifeSource
Lamont Mason recently moved to the region from California where he served as an Ambassador for Donate Life. Today, Lamont represents the Sioux Falls Region for LifeSource. “I now have the privilege to work with LifeSource as a Hospital Partner Liaison to our hospital partners. I strive to honor and serve our donors, donor families, and the community I live in. My goal is to be a resource to anyone seeking information about the amazing world of organ and tissue donation. I believe that together we can bring comfort to families experiencing loss and bring hope to those waiting for a lifesaving gift.” Lamont Mason, Hospital Partner Liaison, LifeSource
Today only 61 percent of South Dakotans have registered as donors on their drivers’ license. Please consider joining the registry. You can register at the DMV or online at Life-Source.org
To watch a video on how organ donation works, including the organ donation process: Click here.