BRIDGEPORT, W. Va. — This Valentine’s Day the Center for Organ Recovery & Education, along with hospitals around the state are celebrating National Donor Day.

Juanita Alfred, R.N., critical care education and supervisor at United Hospital Center said they are encouraging individuals to show their love for others by making a Pledge for Life by becoming registered organ, tissue and cornea donors.

“There’s a need for donation. There are over 120,000 people every day who are waiting for donation, they’re waiting for organs.”

According to CORE, one donor can save up to eight lives. One such life belongs to Lost Creek resident Dr. Cindy Osborne.

“I was an organ donor, never anticipating being a recipient.”

Osborne was diagnosed with and idiopathic cardiomyopathy, meaning her heart quit working adequately, resulting in congestive heart failure. After failed treatments and medications, she was put on a heart transplant list and uncharacteristically only had to wait six months before a donor was found and the surgery took place in 2009.

Her condition improved instantaneously.

“Immediately I noticed a difference,” she said. “I remember waking up in the cardiac care unit being able to breathe. So, that was my first recollection upon waking up.”

Osborne’s heart was donated by 22-year-old man from Georgia who passed away in a car accident. He had signed to be an organ donor when he received his driver’s license and instructed his family of his wishes.

She and the family were able to meet and learn about one another. They still keep in contact long-distance.

The relationship between the recipient and the donor’s family is commonly facilitated by donor advocacy groups such as CORE.

Such a bond has led Debby Stonestreet to share her story, advocating for organ donation.

Her son Michael was involved in a multiple-vehicle accident while on his motor cycle where he suffered severe head injuries and would ultimately be declared brain dead.

He transplanted his heart, his kidneys, his corneas, as well as tissue and bone.

Debby said Michael decided to become an organ donor when he received his driver’s permit due to his passion for helping others.

“I’m proud of him for making that decision,” she said.

Stonestreet’s family has a strong relationship with the recipient of one of Michael’s kidney. She was involved in a car accident and put on a transplant list. She has been able to continue on with her life and Michael’s family has been along with her, attending her graduation and keeping up with her as she entered the professional world.

Inspired by Michael’s gift, Debby speaks at events alongside the recipient. Allowing people see first hand the results of making the decision to become an organ donor.

“My thing is that, those organs in the ground are just going to disintegrate. They’re not going to help anybody,” she said. “If you can help even just one person, then it’s worth it, I think.”

For those who wish to become a donor as part of National Donor Day Saturday or anytime afterward can register at donatelifewv.org.

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Comments

  • Debby Stonestreet

    I hope those that have made negative comments regarding this story never have to experience the need for an organ for themselves or one of their family members.

  • John Smith

    The 2nd comment by John Smith was of course a phony, further making the case to change the commenting policy. The 2nd guy looks up to, models his life after, and hopes to do everything the great Olympian Bruce Jenner does.

  • John Smith

    Great, another welfare program for all the Obama voters out there. None of these people know what work means, otherwise they'd grow or make the organ they need.

  • John Smith

    Metronews, please read these comments and you will see it's time to go to Facebook comments, or do away with commenting altogether. Please, I urge you, do it soon!

  • Randy

    I like to make irreverent comments to metro news stories. Cheap thrills I guess. Most of the time I feel the people deserve it. I could be wrong. I can't understand all the negative comments on this story. So many people dying every day because of a lack of organ donors. I don't get it. I am so glad your wife was a compatible donor for your daughter. It gave your daughter life. If this news story brings about one more organ donor, it will give a miracle to someone. So glad your story wasn't one of the ones with the opposite outcome.

  • Toilet

    Going to take a dump can I donate that.

  • Neil

    The worst team in basketball shooting. Does Huggins know how to coach shooters? He needs to hire a coach to teach shooting.

  • ben

    Today makes 8 years since my wife gave a kidney to our daughter. No greater gift. She gave her life twice.

  • vatd

    good idea! I will donate one of those too.

  • Get It Done

    I have a donation for them, my middle finger. LOL

  • Sigrid Fry-Revere

    Spreading the word is essential for both deceased and LIVING organ donation. Hearts can only come from deceased donors, but every other type of person who needs a major organ can be helped by a living organ donor. Between a third and half of all organ donors are living organ donors. That's 98% of people on the organ donor waiting list and everyone who need bone marrow as well (they can only be helped by living donors). They are the unsung heroes of the transplant story. Unfortunately, they often are left with non-medical out-of-pocket expenses that can weigh heavily on them financially.

    A new charity -- The American Living Organ Donor Fund is here to help. Please help us spread the word to transplant center organ donor coordinators and potential living organ donors that the ALODF has a website chalked full of information and that we give grants to living organ donors to help them meet their expenses. We do have limited resources, but we do not have an automatic income cut off. We base our grants on verifiable need.

    See our website at www.ALODF or www.HelpLivingOrganDonorsSaveLives.org

    We also have a new support group just for living organ donors and those considering donation.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/588973681237149/

  • Jim

    The people who donate are heroes.