A nonprofit, federally designated organization responsible for the recovery of organs and tissue in New Jersey set a record for making organ transplants possible in 2015, a press release reports.
NJ Sharing Network's 531 transplants represents a 37 percent increase from 388 transplants in 2014, the press release said.
One organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and restore the quality of life for as many as 50 people, according to the press release.
“The number of transplants made possible in 2015 is a testament to the dedication of our staff," New Jersey Sharing Network Chief President and CEO Joe Roth said.
"Our clinical employees perform at the highest level – including providing comprehensive support for our donor families – and our transplant laboratory continuously innovates to increase the number of lives we can save.
“However, transplants would not be possible without donors who have made the decision to the give the gift of life by registering and having a conversation with their families," he said.
There are currently 5,000 New Jersey residents awaiting a life-saving transplant and more than 1,000 of them joined the transplant waiting list in 2015, the press release reports.
“A little more than a year ago I was on the organ transplant waiting list, hoping desperately for new lungs as my health rapidly deteriorated," said Bill Heinz of Sparta. "Finally, I received a transplant and got a second chance at life.
“I don’t know who donated their lungs, but I do know that my family and I are eternally grateful and doing everything possible to raise awareness of the gift they shared," Heinz said.
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