Editor, The Courier:

Last year, Lifeline of Ohio experienced an increase in individuals who passed away from a drug overdose and went on to give the gift of life. I’d like to take the opportunity and address the nuances of donation when it coincides with someone passing from a drug/opioid overdose.

The bottom line is: people who die from an overdose have the potential to give the gift of life through organ donation. We are often asked: “won’t drugs be passed from the organ to the recipient?” The answer is no. Whenever a person dies in a manner that makes donation possible, Lifeline of Ohio tests all organs to ensure a healthy, viable organ is delivered to the designated transplant center and the waiting recipient. Regardless of how someone passed away, we test each organ to ensure it can result in a safe and successful transplant.

In 2017, Lifeline of Ohio recovered more organs for transplant than in any previous year. That landmark reflects the generosity and humanity of our communities. Indeed, 25 percent of our donors died from drug overdoses, but that makes them no less a hero. Through donation they, and their families, were able to re-write the end of their story. That ending now reflects the lives they saved and the families they made whole again.

Kent Holloway

CEO, Lifeline of Ohio

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