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Barboursville woman is alive because of an organ donation

Joy Bryant-Harris received a liver transplant in February of 2005. (WCHS/WVAH)

Every day 22 people die because they did not get a needed organ transplant. April is National Donate Life month, an effort to increase organ donations to give the gift of life.

The Organ Donation Garden at Cabell-Huntington Hospital has special meaning for Joy Bryant-Harris of Barboursville. "There were many who unseflishly gave their lives that others could live," said Harris. In February of 2005 she received a life-saving liver transplant. "It was a very frightening thing to learn you needed a liver. You needed any organ, and it's kind of surreal when you think about it and you go through a process of being evaluated," said Harris.

Zack Pettit of Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates says there are misconceptions with organ donation. "If They are in the hospital and facing a life or death situation they don't think they are going to get the care they need and if an organ donor not cared for in an appropriate way," said Pettit. "We care for everyone right up till the end, and we will make sure we will abide by their wishes and give them the care they need and they deserve," said Teresa Sexton, Director of Nursing at Cabell-Huntington Hospital.

She says last year at Cabell-Huntington 10 people who donated their organs saved 32 lives. On Tuesday the hospital will commemorate National Donate Life Month. "Very recently a child lost their life and the child was an organ donator. There was five people whose lives were saved because of that child. It was very special to that family and in a conversation with that family they said their daughter lives on," said Sexton.

Meanwhile, Harris says she has been able to watch her grandchildren grow because someone donated an organ. "That is what organ donation is...it's that life can continue for many people.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.kyorgandonor.org

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