KGH community supporting 'Beadonor Month'

News / General
By Lisa Callahan

Hundreds of people now registered to become potential organ donors

Kingston General Hospital has once again partnered with the Trillium Gift of Life Network to support “Beadonor Month” throughout April. The goal is to raise awareness and encourage our KGH community to register online for organ donation. It has obviously worked in Kingston where 43 per cent of residents are registered donors, well ahead of the Ontario average of 23 per cent.

As a result, last year KGH had 12 donors who saved 38 lives.

“My donor saved more than one life and we all have the opportunity to save lives by registering online,” says Lynn Campbell, a double lung transplant recipient and a Kingston Transplant Advocacy Association volunteer. “Every day I am grateful and that feels like such a small word to express my thanks to my donor. I feel obligated to live a better life and pay it forward.”

Over the last month, Campbell and other association volunteers visited KGH to encourage physicians, employees and visitors to register and share the message through social media. The technicians who do the specialized lab work to prepare for a donation took up the challenge and shared their commitment through their own social media channels.

“We all work really long shifts for one of these potential cases but it is worth it when you hear back that five patients have a new and better life,” says Julie McClatchey, a medical lab technologist. “I personally want to donate because then it is not over and you can continue to contribute and give someone another chance.”

It takes strength to come forward and think of others when it is your family members who are facing a crisis. That was the case with Kristen Singleton who had to make decisions for her 10-month-old baby that no mother should have to make. She shared her donation story at our Operating Room staff education day as part of the awareness month.

“I understood from the KGH medical team that there was little left that could be done for my son,” says Singleton as she shared her journey and decision to donate. “All I remember is looking at him and thinking that if someone else’s family could have just one more minute with their child because of our donations then that would make a difference.”

This year, the KGH target for registration was increased to 1,000 and we are closing in on that goal. To register yourself, visit https://beadonor.ca/kgh8 or drop by the Atrium this Tuesday and Wednesday to hear more and take a selfie to share with your own social network.