A picture of Canfield resident Dan Gromada Jr. stood on a table at Lifebanc’s Donate Life event Monday at Northside Medical Center in Youngstown.
Gromada was 19 when he died in a motorcycle accident in 2004. He was an organ donor.
“When the [Ohio] State Highway [Patrol] gave us back his license, we were so impressed that at age 16 he said yes to the question at the BMV to be an organ donor,” said Dan Gromada Sr.
His son’s heart, both of his kidneys, his pancreas and his liver helped save four lives.
Lifebanc said their goal is to save as many lives as possible by promoting organ donation.
“One organ donor can save up to eight lives. One tissue donor can save up to 50 lives,” said Gordan Bowen, CEO of Lifebanc.
About 18 people die every day in the United States waiting for organ transplants. Bowen said that is about one person every other day in Ohio.
Northside Medical has worked with Lifebanc for more than 20 years. The hospital said it plays a major role in informing the public about the importance of organ donation.
The hospital raised a Lifebanc flag Monday to show it’s a part of saving lives. A Lifebanc flag also was raised at Oak Hill Renaissance Place, which is the former Southside Hospital.
“I think every health care provider’s importance is to provide an additional community awareness, especially in the areas of organ donation,” said Kirk Ray, president and CEO of Northside Medical Center.
Jim Jones of Poland is the recipient of a liver. He said he feels blessed because he was on the waiting list for only 38 days.
“Everything’s going pretty well and I’m happy with that. I don’t know my donor, but I”m happy to thank her,” Jones said.
Mirgnonetta Ready’s goddaughter died in 2010. She donated to the Eye Institute through Lifebanc.
“It was something that we were proud to be able to do,” Ready said.
The good news is that more people are registering to be organ donors. But the bad news is that it’s still not enough.
Approximately 118,000 people in the United States are still waiting for an organ transplant.