Their son’s heart, liver and both kidneys were donated and the Rileys even befriended some of the recipients.
“It serves as a healing for us because we can see John living on in somebody else,” John Riley said. “It was tough and I think that’s what got us through it.”
Thompson lost her 20-month-old niece three years ago in a vehicle accident. Her niece’s heart, kidneys and liver were donated to others.
“The organ donation saves lives,” Thompson said. “Saving lives is the best gift in the world. Of course the loss is there, the pain is there, but it seemed like it is a healing process for the families of the organ donors.”
In Illinois, more than 5.5 million people are on the Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. However, about 300 people die every year waiting for a life-saving donation, the news release states. There are now more than 5,000 people waiting for an organ in Illinois, the release states.
“Organ and tissue donation helps in many ways that people may not think about,” Doyle said. “It encompasses heart, lungs, livers and kidneys, as well as eyes, skin, heart valves and bone. Organ donors can save the lives of up to eight recipients.”
To White, it takes “a lot of heroes” to make these donations happen.
“There are a lot of heroes here at this institution in the form of the doctors, nurses, the administration and the people who said, ‘yes I’d like to have my organs used for transplantation purposes,’” White said. “This community should be applauded for their giving and caring spirit and for making a difference in the lives of those in need.”
Illinois residents can join the Organ/Tissue Donor Registry by visiting LifeGoesOn.com, calling 800-210-2106, or visiting their local Driver Services facility.