“The need for organ donors is incredible,” says Michelle Willcutt, RN, CCU, at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital, where she is an active member of the Organ Donation Committee.
“Around 3,000 people are on the Wisconsin organ donor waiting list. Through outreach efforts, we hope to fill this gap.” Throughout the year, Willcutt and other Organ Donation Committee members work with hospital staff to establish the best methods for approaching the family members of potential donors and guiding them through the process of saving people in need.
In April, HSHS Sacred Heart will celebrate Organ Donation Month by hosting members from the advocacy alliance Donate Life Wisconsin, who will set up a booth to educate people and register them as donors. “Organ donation is a gift to the one receiving the organ or tissue, as well as for the family who takes an emotional situation and does something extraordinary with it,” Willcutt says. “In the moment, it’s difficult to comprehend, of course. But later on, people can recognize the gift that was given, and it helps them heal.”
Interested in becoming an organ donor? Visit organdonor.gov/register.html to learn more.